How to Add Share Buttons to Your Blog Post

By: Carla Rivera

Share Buttons

By: Carla Rivera

There are many factors to keep in mind when writing a blog post for your business, some more obvious than others.  One thing that it’s often overlooked during this process is giving each post the capability of actually being shared.  Now more than ever before, sharing your content is just as important as writing it.  What’s the point of a great post when only a few people get to read it?

When writing a blog post, one must always follow the logical steps: brainstorm what you want to write about, do your research, include sharable material (i.e. photo and/or video), credit the correct sources, etc.  But one thing that can be easily forgotten is adding share buttons to your post.

How many times have you wanted to share something on Facebook and can’t find that share button, resulting in this process of having to go to a separate window, logging in, and copy/pasting the link into your status box in order to share?  More often than not, you end up not posting anything.  By simply adding share buttons to each post you are not only engaging the reader, but you are also enabling them.

The following steps will show you how to easily add share buttons to a blog post:  (Note: These steps are for the WordPress.com blogging platform.)

Step 1 – Once you’re logged in, click on My Site at the top left to go into your blog’s dashboard.

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Step 2 – Once in the dashboard, scroll down to Configure  and click on Sharing.

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Step 3 – This page will give you two options to choose from: Connections or Sharing Buttons—click on the latter.

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Step 4Sharing Buttons will allow you to fully customize the appearance of your share buttons, starting with editing the label text.  You can do this by clicking on Edit label text at the top, type in the title and then click on Close.

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Step 5Edit visible sharing buttons by clicking on the buttons you want to add or remove.  This will also give you the option of reordering the buttons to your liking by clicking on Reorder.  Once you’re finished, click on Close.

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Step 6 – Now that the buttons are added, you may proceed to customize their appearance.  We advise that you choose the Official Buttons since they are the most recognized by the readers.  Also, adding the options to Reblog & Like your posts is a great way to engage the reader.  Once you have customized these, click on Save Changes.

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Step 7 – Under Options, choose to show the share buttons on Posts and Pages.  This will automatically add the buttons to each every single time.  Click on Save Changes when finished.

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Done and done!  Remember that you can always preview the share buttons while customizing them in the Preview box at the top of this section.  Once all changes have been made you are good to go. Easy!

Optimizing Your Blog with Categories and Tags

By: Emily Williams

In order to create the best user experience for your blog readers, it is essential to organize your blog with appropriate categories and tags. This helps the reader find posts on particular topics, search for related posts and index your blog.

Categories are the broad spectrum of what your post is about. Although the number of categories you can have for each post is unlimited, your post might include up to three or four categories.

Tags are more specific identifiers of what is in the post. It acts as a subcategory. There can be an unlimited number of tags on a post. Just remember, you want to include tags that are relevant and could apply to more than one post.

Category / Tag Example

For example, a hospital or practice’s blog might have the following categories:

  • Cardiology
  • Family Practice
  • Health News
  • Immunizations
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s Health

If they publish a blog post called “Five Ways to Keep Your Kids from Catching the Flu”, they might include this blog under the categories:

  • Healthy Living
  • Immunizations
  • Pediatrics

However, when they tag the post, they will use much more specific groupings like:

  • Flu Shot
  • Flu Mist
  • Hand-Washing
  • Killing Germs
  • Multi-Vitamins
  • School Health
  • Winter Health

Note that each of these tags could also apply to other posts in the future. A tag like “October 2015 Flu Shot Availability” would not be an appropriate tag because it will likely not be used again.

How to Categorize and Tag Your Posts in WordPress

When you draft your post in WordPress, you will see a box on the left for you to enter your post’s categories and tags.

categories and tags in wordpress

You can select categories and tags that you have used before, or make new ones here.

As a best practice, you should review the categories and tags that you are using on your blog every six months.

Particularly if there are multiple authors for your blog, you could end up with dozens of categories and hundreds of tags that are only used once or are irrelevant to other posts.

As a good rule of thumb, if you don’t think you could potentially have eight other posts in a particular category or five other posts with the same tags, you should use a broader label.

To review/edit the categories and tags that you are already using, follow these steps:

  1. Click on WP Admin on your home page

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  1. Click on Posts, then look at both Categories and Tags.

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  1. Check your Categories and Tags for the following items:
    • Review the names to make sure you don’t have any repeats (i.e. Immunization and Immunizations)
    • Sort by “Count” to make sure that you have none with 0 posts. If you do, delete those. Also, if you have a lot with only one or two, consider broadening those terms to simplify your blog.
    • For Categories Only: Look at the category called “Uncategorized”. If any posts don’t have a category, assign them.
      Hint: You can click “View” under each category/tag to see which posts are in each so you can easily change them. Another way to quickly edit is to go to the page that shows “All Posts” and click Quick Edit to modify these.

By having a clear organizational structure to your blog through appropriate categories and tags, you will optimize the reader’s ability to crawl your site!

Reputation Management Tip #2: Blog!

By: Grant Peterre

In this post, we continue our examination of excellent reputation management tips from Forbes Magazine. In the first post of the series, we discussed the advantages of being social online to create a positive presence for your physicians and facilities.

Today, we will examine how creating professional and quality blog content can improve your online reputation.

Tip #2: Blog!

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Blogging about your industry is a great way to promote a positive and knowledgeable reputation. Creating original content that is relevant to the interests of your patients and clients also allows you to stay updated on current trends in healthcare. By researching and developing ideas for blog posts, you will undoubtedly read relevant articles about healthcare news that you can use to better your own facility.

Creating and maintaining a blog also provides a great opportunity to increase your presence in search engine results. By including your company’s branding and linking to other pages within your facility’s network, a higher volume of traffic will be directed into your site. As a result, search engines will rank your pages higher in their results. Updating your blog with weekly posts is an effective way to increase your search engine presence.

Read more about reputation management tips from Forbes Magazine, and watch for another tip coming soon!

SEO: Inserting Crawlable Internal Links for Search Engine Spiders

By: Christopher McCarthy

When creating content for your website or blog, it is important to provide easily accessible information, valuable content and an SEO boost. Internal linking between webpages on a site is one way to achieve each of these goals.

It is very important to scatter internal links throughout the body content of your site. By implementing URLs from other important pages on your website, you begin to establish site architecture and page authority, which means your site will rank higher in organic search. Link structure provides assistance for search engines to access and categorize your content with less navigation, which strengthens SEO and visibility.

In other words, search engines use programs called “spiders” to crawl the web in order to filter and understand the content found on sites. A website with a clear structure and well defined pathways make it easy for the spiders to crawl your site and understand your content, making it more likely to show up in search engine results. Because your job is to make the spiders’ job as easy as possible, establishing internal connections when generating content is critical.

SEO Tip- Internal linking between pages on a website enables search engine spiders to easily crawl your site

The best way to insert internal connections to your content is to look for opportunities to link other sections of your website and blog in a smooth, transitional way. When linking, use descriptive keywords or keyword phrases that will tell both the reader and the search engine spiders what the linked page is about.

Websites

If you are a Practice Manager who has access to dotCMS (your practice website’s back-end coding system), you can implement internal linking for your webpages. For example, when drafting content for the “About” content of your site, chances are that you’ll mention the physicians or providers of the practice. This is a great opportunity to link back to the Physicians/Providers page. In addition, your “About” content may include the mention of your websites services, providing an opportunity to link back to the Services page. In these examples, this is accomplished by using the following format in dotCMS for internal links:

<a href= “/Physicians/”>Our Providers</a>

<a href=”/services/”>services we provide</a>

This format is most easily understood and sends clear signals to search engine spiders that allow the content to be indexed.

Blogs

If you want to create internal linking for your blog, simply hyperlink important pages throughout your blog content to boost SEO. Incorporate posts with similar topics into your current post when applicable. For example, if you are blogging about how parents can establish social media guidelines for teenagers, you might want to mention previous posts you have done about cyber bullying or the effects of smartphones on overall health and provide the links to those sites. To do this, simply hyperlink the text that you want to link (probably the title of the blog that you are referring to) while in draft mode and paste in the hyperlink to the post.

When you hyperlink to your blog posts, it is important that you make sure you have linked to the exact post, not just your blog.

For example, let’s say that I want to hyperlink to the most recent post on our blog, “Three Keys to Marketing Healthcare Online”. When I go to www.promotemypractice.net, this blog appears first on my screen:

page with generic url

If I hyperlink to the URL shown, I will always be directing readers to the homepage of my blog, not to this individual post. Because homepages continuously change when new blogs are added, make sure to link to the actual post! Click on the title of the post to take you the post’s specific page.

Notice that now the URL directs to the individual post and is ready to be copied for hyperlinking!

page with specific url

By creating connecting pages associated with your website and blog, you are creating “crawlable” links. Regardless of how optimized some of your other pages may be, if the search engines cannot connect them with your site, the spiders can’t travel to the pages and assume that they don’t exist. This is why reinforcing important internal links within your content enhances your overall search engine rankings.

By including these internal links when writing informative content, you can create a more user-friendly website experience for your readers and increase ranking potential.

One Simple Tip to Improve Your Blog’s Search Engine Ranking: Add Alternate Text to Images

By: Grant Peterre

If you are publishing a blog post in WordPress that contains images, there is one simple trick that can produce huge results for your online visibility: add Alternate (Alt) Text to your images.

In the WordPress photo editor, users have the opportunity to add Alternate Text to images.

Adding Alt Text is valuable for two reasons:

First, if an image fails to load in a viewer’s web browser, the Alt Text will appear as a backup. This will explain to the viewer what should have appeared in the screen.

Second, and far more important, the Alt Text serves as “tagging” for an image. In the same way that users can tag articles with relevant keywords for search engines to find, tagging an image helps to strengthen the association between image and text. The Alt Text is included in the back-end HTML coding of the image, which is exactly what Google algorithms search through when they are picking out keywords. As a result of adding Alt Text, your page will achieve a higher ranking in search engines. So, tag images the same way you would tag an article – with phrases or words relevant to the image that someone might search for when seeking out a specific article.

For example, let’s say you post an infographic detailing the generation gap of social media users that you have tagged “Promote My Practice, Generation Gap, Infographic, Social Media Usage”. A person views the infographic, and then, a month later, wants to search for the infographic again. If the person does not remember the source of the image, they will likely search through Google (or another search engine).

Remember, Google cannot read images. If the image is not tagged, the user would need to remember title of the article or the textual content (if any was included in the post in addition to the infographic). Without the image’s Alt Text, Google will only search through the text, and therefore not be able to find the exact article.

However, if you have tagged the image with keywords, Google will be able to read the image description. If the user searching for your infographic cannot remember the details of the post other than the image, a search of something like “Social Media, Generation Infographic,” would enable search engines to locate the post based on the keywords that you entered in the Alt Text tagging.

There are two places in WordPress drafts that you can access/edit the Alt Text:

Option 1: In your blog draft, once you have clicked “add media” and selected your photo, you have the ability to add the Alt Text before inserting your photo into the post. To the right of the selected image, you will see a group of text boxes to customize the image. You will find a box for adding Alt Text here:

where to add alt text tagging to images in wordpress

Option 2: If your photo has already been inserted into your draft, click on your photo so that it is highlighted and then click the edit button (the pencil). You will see this screen appear:

where to add alt text tagging to images in wordpress

Keep this tip in mind when uploading images to your blog! Spending the extra ten seconds to add Alternate Text to your images can produce huge results for your blog posts in the future.

Heading Your Blog Posts in the Right Direction

You spend valuable time on your blog posts, and you don’t want them to go unnoticed. So how are you attracting people to what you are writing?

How you introduce your posts is critical. An effective attention-grabbing post always includes two main ingredients: a catchy headline and a strong first sentence, or lead. And don’t forget how you tease your article on social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter. If these items don’t capture your audience’s attention from the start, there is a good chance they may not continue reading your post.

It can be difficult to summarize your article and entice your readers in a limited number of words, so here are ten tips to improve your headlines and leads and head your writing in the right direction.

Improving Your Lead

  1. Simplify your first sentence. Your lead should be 30 words or less – don’t give away the whole post in one sentence! Choose your words carefully and make each one count.
  2. Target your audience by asking a question. Your audience will often want to continue reading your post to find out the answer.
  3. Address the 5 W’s. If you can answer the 5W’s – the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where” and “why” of your article, you can let your reader quickly know what your article is about and why it is important.

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Enhancing Your Headline

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  1. Address a common problem or concern to involve your audience. For example, “Quick Relief for Tired Eyes” gives a solution to a common problem.
  2. Headlines that speak to your users on an emotional level will inspire and capture them.
  3. Creativity is key. Original headlines and leads will draw your reader in because your posts will seem dissimilar to every other post.
  4. If your article is about a list of helpful tips, “five ways to prevent the flu,” for example, make this the title of the article. Numbered titles are specific and practical for the reader.

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Teasing Your Post

  1. A short list works well for article teasers on Facebook and Twitter posts because they keep it simple but point out the importance of what you are introducing.
  2. Stay informed about your audience. What you write should relate directly to your readers, which shows that you care about and understand them.
  3. Use a call-to-action to encourage your users to view your post.

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You will successfully engage your audience if you keep this list in mind when writing your headlines and leads, as well as promoting your posts on other social media channels. For more ideas and information, check out this infographic and copywriting guide.

7 Key Things to Remember When Writing Your Blog Posts

The infographic below summarizes seven important fundamentals to remember when writing a blog post. While writing a blog post may be a relatively simple task, grabbing a reader’s attention isn’t. Using enticing titles and opening lines, having a concise layout and eye-catching images, encouraging readers to share, like or comment on your blog and knowing your audience will increase engagement and retain a following.

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Check out our other posts about blogs to view a blog checklist and to learn more about blogging best practices and the importance of having a blog.

Picture Citation: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Good-To-Great-Infographic-edit.png