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Find It Friday! Does site speed affect my Google ranking?

Welcome to  Find It Friday in which we help you find the answers to your blogging questions. 

The Question

This week’s question may seem a bit techie..but bear with is an important element of how your blog ranks in Google and enhances your reader experience.

I noticed that my blog took a while to load when I opened it up to show a friend on his computer recently.  He said that speed difference will affect my Google ranking. Is he right and if so, how fast should a page load and what can I do to make it load faster?

The Answer

Yes, he is right. Google uses site speed (i.e. how quickly a website responds to web requests) as part of their search ranking algorithms.

Here is what Google has to say:

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.

Blog expert, Heidi Cohen recommends that your pages should load in under two seconds and at most three. After checking the speed, determine which elements slow your page down. Google has a list of  free tools that you can use to evaluate the speed of your site at

Final word from Google…

While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. (However) We encourage you to start looking at your site’s speed (the tools above provide a great starting point) — not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone’s experience on the Internet.

Do you have a question on how to blog effectively?

Leave a comment below and we will be happy to help you find the answer.

How to Monitor your Pinterest Performance with Pinerly

Hearing that pinterest is driving as much traffic to businesses as google +, Linked in and youtube combined is all very well, but how do you know that your pinning is working? How do you monitor your efforts and time spent on pinterest? How can you tell what % of your pins are being repinned? How many people are visiting your website as a result of your activity on pinterest and if pinterest is helping your bottom line?


The Pinterest Way

One way to see which pins are being pinned from your website is to place your website after as shown here – – this will show the pins pinned by myself, Marie and any other party who has pinned our blog posts.

Pinterest also emails you each time a pin is repinned, liked or commented on – this information also comes for any pins you have repinned.

Pinerly It

I have started using Pinerly to assess the success of my pinning.  Pinerly is a new website that provides pinanalytics, tips, suggested people to follow and will be introducing scheduling of pins shortly too.

How does Pinerly work:

It will only provide a report on those pins pinned via the pinerly bookmarklet hence it will only provide information on the pins you have pinned yourself, not on those pinned by other people.

You need to install the pinerly bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar and pin the image or blog post by clicking on it.  Each image that is pinned creates a separate ‘campaign’ and Pinerly provides statistics on your campaigns daily and it also sends you a weekly update to show your progress.

Once you click on the pinerly bookmarklet, this box will open and you fill in the details as shown. You can add text to the picture if you wish to as well.

How to use Pinerly

You then click on the Pinerly It button, and it will ask you to click on a  ‘pin to pinterest’ button and you can choose which board to pin to, hence it is a two-step process rather than just a single step.

I have to admit I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been using pinterest or pinerly as much as previously.  However, what I have noticed is that while my recent pins haven’t been getting very many repins or likes, they have been receiving click throughs to the website.  My pins receive many more clicks than they do likes or repins and that surprised me. The pinanalytics will also tell you the reach that each pin achieved.

When you look at the statistics in Repinly and see how many repins some pins manage to achieve while you get one or two, it can be a little disheartening for some. But I would argue that the value is also in the click throughs, those people who are clicking to see your blog post or your product. Being able to see the number of click throughs in pinerly is one of its strengths.

Suggested Pinners to Follow

Pinerly offers a number of suggested pinners to follow under the various categories. They emailed me over a week ago asking for my information as they were going to add me to one of the categories. It will be interesting to see if I get many new followers as a result once they add me to it.

I had to wait a couple of months for my application to Pinerly to be accepted, they are allowing people to join by invitation so if you would like to try it out, do send me your email address and I’ll send you an invite.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics would be the most reliable method to guage your success and evaluate how to improve. I have to admit that I have still to set up funnels in Google Analytics to see what sales are resulting from click throughs to the website. I intend to do that asap and then I’ll share the results with you.

If you would like to learn more about pinterest, I am presenting a talk in Carlow on 29th August and if you live far away, stay tuned for news of our new website providing online training – launching soon 🙂

Find It Friday – 9 Pinterest Questions & Answers

PinterestToday’s Find It Friday is about pinterest (we’re having a pinterest week here – did you notice?;)  ).  Following a consultation with a new client recently, I thought I’d share some of the questions she had about her new pinterest account and some of the answers I gave her.  Her products are bathroom & kitchen sinks and taps.

What boards should I set up? Should I just call them Kitchen Sinks, Bathroom Taps?

Yes, you can certainly include those boards for the specific product seeker. However, remember to include quirky or different kitchen sinks along with your own pins to those boards too. Don’t concentrate on self-promoting.

I’d also suggest setting up boards for the various Kitchen types or styles. For example, contemporary kitchens, classic kitchens, country kitchens, white kitchens, small kitchens etc.  If you are selling a product for kitchens, be on the lookout for striking or pretty kitchen images and share them with your followers which will demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for your product.  You can then include some of your own images as well.

I see you have a ‘Gardens’ board but you don’t have any products for gardens. Why do you have a board for it?

Partly because I like gardening and to me, pinterest is about showing the ‘whole you’ and showing your interests too.  It’s not just about the product, it is about showing the lifestyle too.  If your target audience were those who wanted ‘country kitchens’, then including boards of cute farmyard animals and country scenes wouldn’t go amiss.  I actually did slip one product picture into that board the other day as it was photographed in a pretty garden but generally, that board is just for fun and for sharing.

Hubspot recently flagged Oreck, a vacuum cleaning brand, as a great example of how to use images other than the actual vacuum cleaners, to entice pinners to follow and people to engage and buy. While it also has product boards, it also had a board called ‘furry friends’ emphasising subtly of course, that their products can deal with all the dog hairs that pets leave on your sofa. It’s ‘Stunning floors’ board connotes that your floors can be just as stunning by using their products and of course, all the floors are stunning.

How will people come to my website from my pins?

All the photos pinned from your website or blog are traceable back to their originial source so no matter how many times they are repinned, if someone clicks on them, they will be brought to where you pinned it from.

It is a good idea to have a ‘pin it’ button on your blog or on your product pages so that it is easier for visitors to your site to pin the photos (and it reminds them to do so too).

How do I merge my products with those of other pinners? Will they stand out like a sore thumb?

The cut-out photos of the taps, for example, will look like product shots so yes, it will be evident that they are your products. My tip is to pin them little and often, that is, don’t pin ten photos of taps from your website in one go.  Write a clear description for the taps including a benefit for the user or why that tap is perfect for a country kitchen especially if you are pinning it to the ‘Country Kitchens’ board.

How often should I pin?

Little and often.  If you are pinning lots, then ensure that they are of different types of photos and for different boards. There is nothing more off-putting than going to my pinterest account and seeing the page almost full of similar pins from a single pinner.  Don’t pin too often to your facebook profile and take care of pinning too often if sending them out as tweets too.  Pinerly will soon have a scheduling option which will be a really handy tool.

How long should the description be?

Pinterest allows up to 500 characters but unless you wish to include a tutorial, I think up to 150 characters is sufficient.  Ensure that you are including keywords that are likely to be searched for and if you wish, do include a price. At the moment, only the £ and $ signs display across the front of the pin (not the €) but research suggests that pins with prices displayed receive more click throughs. Remember to include a ‘benefit’ for the customer or a tip on how it can be used.

I tried to link my Pinterest account to my Facebook business page but it wouldn’t work. Why not?

At present, there is only the facility to link pinterest to your personal profile on facebook.

How can I get more followers?

Here’s 5 suggestions for getting more followers on pinterest:

  • It is a case of following other pinners and seeing it they follow you back. By repinning pins you like, this can generate follows too.  Don’t rush to follow people – take some time to build up a good portfolio of boards and pins first. Check out our post on why you should set the covers of each board so that they look more attractive.
  • If you have your pinterest account in sync with twitter and facebook, you will be able to see which of your facebook friends are using pinterest and they will be flagged up for you to follow.
  • Find others that have a similar interest to yours. Check out Pinerly which flags up suggested pinners to follow under the various categories (if you need an invite to Pinerly, just ask us for one in the comment box).

How to find new people to follow on pinterest

  • When you look at a person’s profile on pinterest, you will also see 3 people they have repinned from so it is likely that those pinners follow a similar theme – this can be a handy way of finding new people to follow too.
  • Look at the most popular or the trending pins and boards on Repinly – if they fit in with your style, pin images that are similar to them.

How do I build up a relationship with followers? I remember being told that twitter is about relationship building and having conversations. Is pinterest similar?

How we spend time on pinterest

Yes and no, to be honest.  About 80% of the pins on Pinterest are repins which suggests that people enjoy looking for fresh content to pin on pinterest rather than on other sites and build their relationships with others by repinning their pins if they like them.  As you can see from the statistics above, we only spend 0.5% of our time on pinterest commenting so we have some way to go in terms of having conversations there.

If you have any questions on pinterest, do ask in the comment box.

At Write on Track, we offer training on pinterest as well as showing business owners how to blog more effectively for their business so do get in touch if you would like to book a consultation or a training session.

How to make sure your blog is set up for indexing by Google

Welcome to  Find It Friday in which we help you find the answers to your how to blog questions. 

The Question 

How do I make sure I’m set up for indexing by Google?

Today’s question is aimed at those of you who are in the process of setting up a WordPress blog. It’s easy to miss a step when you are starting out, and sometimes beginners overlook this one.

The Answer

Usually you don’t want Google to index your pages while you are building your site, but do remember to change your settings when your site is ready to go  live.

Go to Settings > Privacy.

Here, you will see three Site Visibility options.  Click Allow search engines to index this site. This allows everyone to read your blog and enables your blog to be included in search engine results and other content sites.

If you have any questions on how to blog you would like us to answer in our next Find It Friday, then leave a comment below, or contact us on our Facebook page. 

Find It Friday! How To Be An Outstanding Guest Blogger

Welcome to  Find It Friday in which we help you find the answers to your how to blog questions. 

The Question

I got an e-mail this week from a reader who is happy to have his question shared on Find It Friday.

I have been asked to write a guest blog on an aspect of my business which the blog owner feels would be of interest to her readers.  How do you suggest I make the most of this opportunity?

The Answer

As anyone who has attended my talks will know, I am a big fan of guest blogging. It benefits both the blog owner and the guest blogger, introducing both to a whole new readership.

Here are my top 5 tips for guest blogging

1. Do your research

Read the archived posts of the blog owner. Make sure the tone and language of your post fits the character of the blog. Which posts get the most comments?  What resonates best with readers?

2. Pull out all the stops to make your post top-notch

This is your chance to shine, so really make this the best piece of writing you can. Check your facts, credit your sources, and link to external references and sites.

3. Provide an author bio

Write the basic facts that readers will want – don’t overdo it, just enough to make it interesting and relevant.

4. Don’t be self-serving

There is nothing guaranteed to put a reader off than something that is obviously written as a sales pitch for your product or service. You will get the opportunity to link to your business in your author bio and trust me, if your content is good enough, people will check you out, just so long as they don’t feel as if they are being aggressively sold to.

5. Follow through

The last step, but this, in my opinion, is the one that separates the mediocre guest blogger from the finest. When I invite guest bloggers to write for me, the outstanding ones are those who show they care enough to follow through by responding to comments, promoting via social networks, connecting with commentators online, and even expanding the discussion, as happened on one of my other blogs this week, by starting a twitter chat around the topic.

Over To You!

Do you invite guest bloggers to contribute to your blog? Or have you contributed as a guest blogger to other blogs? How did it work out for you?

Find It Friday: Content Creation Ideas For Your Business

It is ‘Find It Friday’ time again and this week as I was asked for some blog post topic suggestions for an electrical shop, I thought I’d share the thought processes with you as it may help to prevent ‘bloggers block‘ or it may persuade you to grasp the nettle and seize the day by starting your blog with some good content creation ideas.

Image of Henry Hoover from here

As I mentioned in a previous post, you must decide on your aims/goals/objectives for your blog. For example, the aims for an electrical shop might include:

  • to increase footfall and sales to the shop (bricks and mortar)
  • to increase online sales
  • to increase enquiries so the sales team can then convert them into sales
  • to demonstrate our expertise
  • to showcase new products
  • to demonstrate our high levels of customer service
  • to improve profile and increase brand awareness.

It is then a good idea to sit down with a couple of people and brainstorm for topic ideas. It is best if these people are a mixture of  people in the company and those who might be your typical customer.

Topic Ideas for an Electrical Shop

  • Review new products e.g. the latest dyson type product
  • Review products that would be good gifts, particularly in the run up to Christmas
  • Focus on your different target markets and write accordingly. For example, write a post aimed at a parent buying a first camera for a child and provide information on cameras in three different price brackets. You could also write a more technical post for the target market looking for a good SLR camera.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of particular products, e.g. a bagless vacuum cleaner. Be honest regarding this as customers may leave their own opinion in the comments and they will trust you if you point out any disadvantages too.
  • Pay attention to the questions that customers ask and turn them into blog posts. For example, many people may be asking about the Saorview  so you could explain the alternatives in a number of blog posts.
  • You could ask a complementary business, such as a beautician, to advise on health and beauty products that are for sale in your electrical shop.
  • Use celebrities  and celebrity magazines.  If a celebrity is photographed using or endorsing a particular product, include that photograph in your blog post.

That is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of ideas. A couple of hours in a  brainstorming session should provide you with enough topics for your blog for months to come. The next step is to include efficient calls to action that ensure your post deliver on sales and I’ll be writing about that next week.

If you are nervous of starting a blog or are wondering where your next blog post ideas will come from, contact us to avail of an appointment where we can help you to create a strategy for your blog going forward.

Find It Friday! Your Blogging Questions Answered

Welcome to  Find It Friday in which we help you find the answers to your blogging questions. 

The Question

With the summer upon us (although living in Ireland it is hard to believe it is summer) you may find yourself taking some time out for a vacation. But, what does this mean for your blog and your social media efforts? Can you afford to take a break from them?

The Answer

We are cheating a little with today’s Find It Friday, but only because Beatrice Whelan has already answered this question so well on the Sage Ireland blog. From using apps, to delegating and scheduling posts and tweets, you will find lots of great tips and advice for managing your social media while you enjoy a well deserved break.

Read Beatrice’s advice here

Do you have a question on how to blog effectively?

Leave a comment below and we will be happy to help you find the answer.

Using Pinterest for Business: How To Share Boards

It is Friday Find It time again (and this week, there’s a ‘thank crunchie it’s Friday’ vibe going on too – it’s been a brilliant albeit exhausting week!)

Today’s question is from Deirdre who emailed us to ask us a question about Pinterest:

You say you can allow others to pin to your boards – can you allow anyone to pin to your boards or do you have to name them? I’ve looked around Pinterest and can’t find an answer so thought I’d ask you.

Pinterest have changed it ever so slightly since they last put up their instructions on this.

You have to be following at least one board of a a potential contributor to your boards so not only do you have to name the contributors but you have to be following them as a ‘follow all’ or at least one of their boards.

How to share boards on pinterest

Once you click ‘edit board’ a page comes up where you can change your categories or add more description. You can also decide if you, as the creator, want to be the only contributor or if you wish to invite others to contribute. Once you start to type their name, suggestions for contributors will appear, for example, I started typing MAR and all the Maries, Marias and Marians I follow popped up.

An invitation is sent to all the people you add to the board and they will receive an email advising them of this. Once they accept the invitation, you will receive an email so you’ll get a idea of the response.  Don’t spam people on this – only invite those you know are interested in this board.

Once someone is a contributor to that board, they can then invite other contributors so it can spread and your board can become very popular.

What does this mean for business? Businesses can still create a board that can be shared, hence forming a community and showing interest in your customers. For example, I have just started a board called ‘Decorating Stories – Before and After’ and am asking people to contribute their before and after decorating photos to it and I will let you know how it goes. The difficulty is that there would already have to be a relationship there for you to know their name and have a follow in place but this would be a wonderful way to build on a relationship. The trick is to keep an eye on the board and comment on those pins that are added.

If you would like to become a contributor to my ‘Decorating Stories – Before and After Pictures’ board, do let me know and I’ll follow you and add you as a contributor.

I’m sure that a few months ago people could contribute to other boards if the box ‘Me and contributors’ was ticked and I’d imagine they have changed it to only allow named contributors in order to prevent spamming as pinterest has become so busy.

Find It Friday! Your Blogging Questions Answered

Welcome to  Find It Friday in which we help you find the answers to your how to blog questions. 

The Question

This week we caught up with Christina Giliberti of CG Online Marketing to ask her what one piece of advice she would give us for search engine optimization (SEO) for blogging.

Here’s what she had to say:

The Answer

Just one? Oh that’s hard….blogging by nature is fantastic for SEO as search engines love sites with fresh, changeable content.

I would write blogs in association with your chosen keywords, keep the title catchy and containing one of those keywords, then add H2* tags throughout, again adding your keyword.

So, if I was writing a post on SEO – Title: SEO Game Changers

  • H2 tag 1: SEO updates from Google
  • H2 tag 2: Top SEO Tips, and so on.

My piece of advice is then – optimise your post, BUT also keep it as natural and flowing as possible. If I had a euro for each site or post I’ve seen that over-optimised with clunky text, I would be a millionairess.

If you are using a platform like WordPress, then you can easily add a plugin to enter meta information per post (

If you really want to ‘win’ in SEO AND provide additional value to readers, use keywords within your post to link to similar posts. So if you’re discussing the merits of Adwords and happen to mention keywords, AND you have written a blog post about keywords, link the term ‘keywords’ to this blog.

*The H tags are heading tags that format your text into headings. H1 is the most prominent (largest), H2 the second, and so forth.  Search engines look to these tags for relevant meaning for SEO (H1 being the topic, H2 – the subtopics, and H3s subtopics of H2s).


Do you have a question on how to blog effectively?

If you have a question on blogging you would like us to answer, then leave a comment below, or contact us via our Facebook page.

Find It Friday: How to create an infographic for your blog

Welcome to  Find It Friday in which we help you find the answers to your how to blog questions. 

I gave a presentation to the KLCK Bloggers Network monthly meeting this week on how to get your blog  on the right track for success. During the course of my talk, I mentioned the growing popularity of infographics (particularly popular on Pinterest) and recommended incorporating infographics on your blog or website. I said I would devote this week’s Find It Friday slot to answering the whys and hows of infographics.

But first…

What is an infographic?

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge (see below for an example).

Why are infographics so popular?

With so many online messages competing for our attention, eye-catching graphics are one  way of grabbing your reader’s attention. People want their information quicker and using visuals are an excellent way to do this.  Infographics can help your audience absorb information at a glance and they are ideal for sharing across multiple social media platforms.  In a recent post on incorporating infographics in your social media campaign, Justin Beegel wrote:

Infographics are also a proven way to jump-start the “viral” process online. One person sees an infographic and tells his friend, who tells another friend, who tells another.Infographics are simply much more likely to be spread across Twitter, on Facebook, and on blogs than traditional forms of content creation.


What should you put in your infographic?

The same rule applies to creating your infographic, as it does to all your social media marketing – tell not sell! By that I mean, your infographic should not be a blatant advertisement for your product, service, or brand, but be on a topic which is of value and interest to your readers. Make it credible, make it relevant, make it topical, make it eye-catching and you are more likely to see your infographic go viral.

Tips for great infographics

  • Fascinating facts and statistics related to your area of expertise.
  • Reference your facts in the infographic.
  • Consider design elements – read The Anatomy of An Infographic
  • Keep your design consistent with your branding (colours, logo, etc)
  • Include your URL and company name so people can find out who created it.

How to create your infographic

If you really want to do it right, and are serious about using infographics to market your brand,  you need to hand it over to the experts and hire an infographic designer. But, if you just want to have some fun with it, there are tools which promise to make it easy for even the novice designer to create arresting infographics.

7 easy ways to create infographics


2. Many Eyes


4. vizify

5. creately

6. wordle

7. hohli

Over To You!

Are you tempted to create your own infographic? We’d love to see the results if you do, so please share your creations with us when you have created them.

If you are on Pinterest, check out my Social Media Infographics Board.