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Brisbane SEO Blog — Community Consulting Summary

Our third Community Consultation finishes up today with an overview of the ProBlogger community’s feedback for Brisbane SEO Blog.

As always, the results have been illuminating. You might even be able to take away some tips and tricks for your own blog.

New to community consulting? You’ll want to read Darren’s launch post as well as Brisbane SEO Blog’s introduction to the community.

Here are the elements which proved most important to ProBlogger readers.

Lack of connection with the business

Brisbane SEO Blog is a business blog, and the primary aim of any business blog should be to raise the profile of the business and gain new clients. At the moment, the blog is not adequately connected to the main SiteMost website. If a visitor arrived via search results they would only be able to reach the main site via the About page.

I would firstly suggest making the SiteMost logo a link to the main site, as this is what visitors expect. I’d also make it clearer to new visitors that the blog is an offshoot of SiteMost — perhaps with a tagline or a paragraph at the top of the sidebar.

If it’s not clear which company is responsible for the blog (and how to learn more about it) even the most successful business blog won’t be able to reach its full potential as a promotional device.

Getting more subscribers

One of the owner’s main aims for the site is to convert more readers into subscribers. He’s taken the essential first step by offering both RSS and email subscriptions in a prominent location on the page.

The blog could attract more subscribers by adding a subscribe link to the bottom of posts, and by offering a freebie with every subscription (such as a short eBook or report). A number of readers suggested both these strategies would help to persuade them to subscribe.

Greater distinctions between posts

Some readers felt that the gap between posts was too narrow and this impacted on readability. The issue was worsened by a sub-header for related posts which matches the blog’s headlines for size.

This readability issue is easily fixed by adding some more space between each post and shrinking the related posts heading down to the text size used for the body of the posts. It’s essential that headlines be the biggest and most eye-catching text on the page.

Turning visitors into customers

A business blog presents an opportunity to convert visitors into potential clients. Without a Contact or Services page this task is made very difficult. A number of readers suggested refining the About page to emphasize the faces behind the business and their credentials.

I’d also suggest including a little information about the services offered by the company, with a link to a dedicated ‘Services’ page readers can visit for more detailed information.

Adding a Contact page to the navigation bar is essential. It’s simply impossible to get web-based business without it. As a local business it would probably be wise to include a phone number and PO Box in addition to an email address. I’d suggest promoting a ‘Services’ page in the navigation bar also.

Some readers also suggested an additional page explaining what SEO is and its benefits. I think this is a great idea. Most clients who hire SEO consultants (unsurprisingly) aren’t experts at it themselves. It can’t hurt to tell potential clients what you’re capable of.

Showcasing the best

Displaying a list of your best posts should really be a requirement for any blog. It shows new visitors straight away the best of what you have to offer. It also helps to draw them deeper into your blog (making it more likely that they’ll stick around or subscribe.) A number of readers really missed this feature on the blog.

Less is more

The content list on the main page is very long and took some time to load. Some readers requested less posts on the main page and others wanted to see only post excerpts displayed.

MyBlog Log and ads

Some readers felt that the MyBlog Log widget seemed unprofessional on a business blog. I’d also add that these widgets can sometimes be several hundred kilobytes all-together as the button images aren’t efficiently resized.

Other readers wondered why the blog was advertising third party services. It’s worth considering whether the reader attention would be better spent on SiteMost’s own services.

The good

It seems like the blog’s owner (Peter) is on to a good thing with his content as it received almost unanimously positive reviews. The visual design was also positively received overall, though some readers disagreed with the color choice and the lack of custom imagery. While color is always subjective and I don’t think you can please everyone, a unique logo wouldn’t go astray.

Another thing that I really liked to see was the relative lack of clutter on the blog. While I still think a few things could be subtracted (and a few more added) the blog is very simple and clean overall.

The prize!

As always I found myself with a shortlist of about five names who’d each written a really high quality review. You guys sure don’t make this easy ;-).

This week’s iPod Shuffle winner is ericabiz for her savvy review, though it was her partial rewriting of the blog’s About page which really impressed me and put her a step above the rest. Thanks Erica!

Make sure to stay tuned for blog number four.

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Comments

  1. Pete says:

    Hi Everyone… this is Pete (the author of SiteMost’s SEO Blog).

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who gave feedback and advice on how I can improve the site.

    Over the next few weeks I’ll try and incorporate as many of the suggested changes as I can, and if you think of any additional advice or suggestions, feel free to email me or leave a comment on the blog.

    Thanks again and I hope everyone has a very safe and happy holiday season.

  2. Young says:

    I like the less is more.

  3. Sangesh says:

    The conclusion of your research is quite good to go through. I also have found out what my blog site, http://www.sangesh.com.np/blog is lacking. I will definitely try to resolve the problems which have been pointed out here by many blogger.

    This article was quite helpful for me. Hope it is for other start-up bloggers as well.

    Cheers.

  4. Good Article! Darren, you did not by chance buy a street sign on amazon yesterday did you?

  5. Boy you are so right about the lack of connection to Sitemost – I did not even realize that was something he wanted to send people to!

  6. Are bloggers that simply aim to take advantage of advertising income misguided? Should bloggers offer a service or product beyond the content they provide?

    I have recently started to blog. I am using a bum-blogging method. I have really started to see a lot of potential, but I am not sure I can get a good return from any investment unless I have something more to offer.

  7. Kayla says:

    The candid comments on other blogs is so helpful to me as a reader of your blog – I always pick up ideas that I can use – so thank you for doing this and also to those who allow us all to learn from their blogs.

  8. I’ve noticed that you spent a whole lot of time examining the flaws of the whole blog and describing how these “should” be done, while leaving a small note at the bottom about the content. I fully know that to make an excellent blog all the following things that you mentioned should be up to a satisfactory level…. but doesn’t everyone say content is king?

    This examination of this particular website basically says that the content is usualy too long, even though it’s quality. Does this mean that the content is not of the uppermost value in this blog because it’s been too long and the fact that you left it right to the bottom before stating how wonderful it was?

    Should we have applauded the content more, for the quality it was a bit more, or is it in the minority of what you think a blog should look after?

    I’m only writing this out of interest and arrogance as many people usually mistake my writing…

  9. Skellie says:

    @ Chris Vincent: I’m not sure I can properly respond to your comment because I never suggested that the content is too long. Maybe you misread the section which says post excerpts could be used to make the page lighter on its feet? I’m not sure.

    While I’m personally quite interested in the content, my job is to summarize the elements that the community mentioned and provide my own commentary. The content wasn’t mentioned often, and when it was, it was mentioned in generally positive terms (and not in too much detail). To dedicate too much time to that would have been prizing my own biases over what grabbed the community, which isn’t really in the spirit of this process. Does that make sense?

  10. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Although you *unfortunately* didn’t understand everything i said, what you just quoted gave me all the answers i needed.

    Thankyou.

  11. Darshana says:

    This is a good idea to review a blog using the community. Not only it helps the actual blogger who gets reviewed but also everyone else, because they can discern similar problems in there blogs and rectify them.

    Keep the good work going!

  12. WEBOSIS says:

    Great suggestions here. I would love to see a follow-up after changes are made to the blog.