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Top 8 Characteristics of a Healthy Blog [Website] – Quality Control Checklist

Top 8 Characteristics of a Healthy Blog [Website] - Quality Control Checklist

Having a blog is great for any business!

But, there are certain characteristics required, that many people don’t seem to realize, in order to stay in the good graces of your readers and search engines alike; especially in today’s over-saturated Internet world.

Below you will find 8 characteristics that, if done right, will put you ahead of your competition.

8 Characteristics of a Healthy Blog – Quality Standards to Meet

Let’s Move On…

1. Design of Your Blog

The look and feel of your blog will play an important role in the success of any website. Using appealing color schemes and consistent design will be a great contributor.

Overuse of flash and an excessive amount of images may irritate your viewers… simplicity is usually best.

On the other hand… you can have one of the best looking websites on the Web, it can be flashy with the most gorgeous and sexy looking graphics, but it won’t mean a thing if you don’t get visitors.

NOTE: if you are not receiving the quantity of viewers that you desire, it might be time to learn some basic search engine optimization, along with keyword research to boost your traffic and rankings.

2. Branding Yourself – Choose One Topic for Your Site

Find one topic and stick with it! Search engines and people respond well with branding… I.E. – ONE Central Topic.

Brand yourself in your field of expertise; whether you are an SEO Guru, a Network Marketing Expert or Health Junkie, etc. You can write about other stuff too, but make sure your writing is geared around your primary topic.

3. Your Site’s Layout and Structure

You have two main audiences to keep in mind when designing the layout and structure of your site… the search engine, and most importantly the human.

Search Engines – these robots/crawlers/spiders should be able to follow each and every page from the highest level of your site (Home Page), all the way to the lowest depths of your site.

If the search engine can follow your structure properly to the lowest depths of your website, you are good as gold in their algorithmic eyes.

The Human Factor – your site should be appealing to the reader and easy to navigate. In terms of SEO, if the person can find his or her way around your site without any problems, then the search engines will have no problem navigating either, scoring you brownie points with them… which brings me to the next subject.

4. Site Maps for Your Blog

There are two forms of sitemaps for a blog… the first one is the XML sitemap which is strictly for the search engines. The other is the HTML sitemap for humans.

Without getting too in-depth about sitemaps; a sitemap is exactly how it sounds, it’s a map of your whole site. This sitemap is one single page that will show the structure of your site, link by link, category by category.

The XML SiteMap for Search Engines was created to structure, store, and transport information. This XML sitemap will store all sorts of information about your site, dates of submission, last time pages were updated etc, and is for the algorithmic eyes of the search engines.

This sitemap will help with search engine optimization for your site by making sure that all the pages can be found. My highly recommended sitemap plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

The HTML Sitemap for Humans is a method that will allow your readers to navigate through your whole site. It’s a one-stop-shop (single page) and is usually in the form of a textual outline of your sites navigation.

Matt Cutts (head of Google’s Webspam team) says “It’s a sitemap for users… it’s very handy, it has good usability and it can be great for your search results.

If you have an HTML sitemap, it is an important SEO move to have this page available from any page on your site, but most importantly the home page. I chose to have my Site Map up at the top, plus in the footer below. Here is my HTML sitemap!

If Google finds a sitemap on your home page, it will see it as important, follow the link to the HTML sitemap page, and begin crawling each link on that page.

5. Consistent Blog Updates

This is two-fold… keeping to a regular schedule can create loyal readers and also increase your search engine traffic.

If a person knows that you will be posting on a certain day or time of the week, they will visit your site with the knowledge that you will have fresh, new content waiting for them.

This idea is easy to grasp… when you create a pattern, your readers will adapt to your schedule.

This will give them a reason to keep coming back, so don’t disappoint them by wandering off your schedule.

Regularly Updated Content Can Equal More Visits and Higher Search Engine Rankings.

Search engines love unique, fresh content. Each time the search engine robot visits your blog, it will scan for new content. If it finds new or modified/edited content, it will index it.

6. Create Value-Based Blog Content

Create Content Worthy of Reading and Sharing! Over-Deliver, as it is said in the network marketing world. If you’ve heard of attraction marketing, you will know that one of the rules that attraction marketing is based on is value, to over-deliver beyond the readers expectations.

So, if you want people to flock to your blog for information, then you must create high, value-based content that will educate, inspire and motivate your readers to want more.

Giving value and expertise, that offers solutions to their problem, is VERY Attractive to readers.

Providing this worthwhile information will create a spellbinding magnetism causing your audience to develop a thirst for more, I.E. Attraction Marketing.

This action alone will build trust and in turn your readers will begin to like you and look up to you as an authority in your niche.

7. Page Loading Time

Whether you are aware of it or not, your site’s loading speed is a Factor in the Google ranking algorithm.

Below are a few reasons why the Google engineers decided to implement your site’s page speed into their algorithm.

  • Faster websites create happy users
  • Improving site speed reduces operating costs
  • Users place a lot of value in speed

So, if you have a site that loads slowly, like many WordPress sites notoriously do, you are going to have to work hard in finding ways to speed it up.

The main point here is to make sure you remove any unnecessary elements that are slowing your site down.

For bloggers, removing any unnecessary plugins that you aren’t crucial to your business, reducing image sizes that are too big, along with compressing those images for the Web are a great starting point.

To find out your site’s performance follow the link: http://tools.pingdom.com/

If you want to compare your website to another person’s for loading speed, follow the link to create your own match-up: Website Speed Comparison

8. Mobile Ready – Mobile Optimized

Is your site mobile optimized?

With today’s fast-paced world, many people are using their mobile devices to search for information on the Internet.

Your website should be compatible with different platforms as most of the users now will use phones and tablets for different tasks.

If your site is not mobile ready, it will be difficult to read and impossible to navigate.

Follow the link to test your website in different mobile phones and tablet emulators: http://mobiletest.me/

Closing Comments About Quality Characteristics That Your Site Should Have

I know it’s sometimes easier said than done, but in my opinion over-delivering with your content, and providing superb navigation for your reader to find additional information, is probably going to gain you the most followers no matter how your site looks.

On the flip side, if your site is not mobile optimized, as mentioned above, the difficulty factor of reading your information and navigating to other pages will be virtually impossible, so you will lose a large amount of traffic.

You will get the same results for a slow loading site… if your site takes too long to load, the person will hit the back button at lightning speed.

Suggested Reading: 10 HIGHLY Entertaining and Successful Blogs to Improve Your OWN Site!
Is Your Site Mobile-Ready? How Does Your Site Compare to Others for Speed? What Quality Characteristics Do You Find Important for a Website? Comment Below!
TO YOUR SUCCESS,
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Category: Blogging Tips, Business Success, SEO

Comments (5)

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  1. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?

    My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either
    written myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization.
    Do you know any ways to help protect against content from being
    ripped off? I’d genuinely appreciate it.
    web site promotion marketing recently posted…web site promotion marketingMy Profile

    • John Engle says:

      Yes I have… I have had some people copy my articles, but they were kind enough to leave a link back to the source (this site), which is OK with me.

      You are not along about content being taken and submitted all over the net as their own.

      Here is an article that I wrote about Duplicate Content and Plagiarism that might help you: Duplicate Content Blankets 25 to 30% of the Web.

      Thank You for Stopping by and Commenting…

      John Engle

  2. If you run a web-site and also be found on the Internet, the most important factor to get higher ranking is SEO, as correct using of Page Subject, Meta Tags, Description, Keywords and phrases, HTML. After understanding the exact SEO terms and various methods, you will be able to optimize your site or page. This is the point where you can gain more value than the time you spent upon learning.

  3. Nate says:

    Hi John,

    I agree with what you said about having a healthy blog. Everything you’ve said is right on the money! The purpose of a blog in my opinion is to create value for your readers. Point blank. If you have a niched website, you have to make sure that your blog is loaded with value.

    Having a blog like you said is fantastic for business. This way, when you have a blog, while you’re branding yourself, you can develop the like, know, and trust factor.

    By all means, today’s blog post was a great reminder! Thanks John!
    Nate recently posted…10 Biggest Myths About Being An EntrepreneurMy Profile

    • John Engle says:

      Hey Nate,

      You do a great job providing value on your blog and that is why you see me over there often.

      Out of all 8 of the characteristics I mentioned in my article, I would have to say that many people are still behind the 8-ball for having their sites Mobile ready.

      When I noticed that my site had a few wrinkles in it towards the mobile look, I began working on it until it appeared correct in all the mobile devices used.

      On that note, there are still many sites out there that have not been mobile optimized, and with the amount of people using mobile devices such as tablets, there is a lot of traffic lost on these sites due to the less than readable appearance.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting…

      John Engle

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