Getting your blog noticed is a big part of blogging because if nobody notices you then they can not become loyal readers! Today I am going to use a critique to show you how with some simple tweaks you and your blog will get the attention you deserve.
Blog critiques used to be a popular feature of this site but it is a long, long time since I published a public critique so let’s change that right now.
Tessa volunteered to have her SparkyFace5 website taken apart for your education and entertainment, and what a good choice it turned out to be!
This critique covers a lot of ground so check out the Table of Contents to navigate to the parts you are most interested in.
Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- What should I call my blog?
- What is your website about?
- How does your blog help people?
- Speaking of design: Introducing the colour wheel
- Writing, layout, and formatting of your blog posts
- SEO keywords and blog topics
- Blog SEO and Search Visibility
- WWW versus Non-WWW and SEO
- More technical SEO issues stopping you getting noticed
- Blog Critique Conclusion: Do this and get noticed
What should I call my blog?
“What should I call my blog?” is one of the first things people ask when starting a new site. It’s not a wrong question to ask, but it’s usually a little premature.
Tessa clearly named her blog after a nickname. This is great for people who know her and are looking for her, but less useful for someone who is looking for someone like her or looking for what she does.
What to name your blog is important, and something worth figuring out, but you can support an otherwise less optimal name by adding context around it.
What is your website about?
Getting noticed means deciding what you want to get noticed for.
Context can be added with your header and tagline, as a good start. For a tagline, SparkyFace5 has
a spark of creativity
Unfortunately “a spark of creativity” doesn’t add much information for a new visitor to go on.
You have a very short window of time to inform your reader of some important things:
- Where am I?
- What is it about?
- Who is it for?
- Why should I care?
- What should/can I do next?
Visit my homepage and there is a box, above the fold, that says:
From there you can find out more, join my newsletter, or scroll down to see my most recent articles.
How does your blog help people?
While you should immediately inform the visitor, pull them in, and engage them hopefully, when you do scroll down on SparkyFace5 you meet the secondary navigation and things become more clear.
These project thumbnails more effectively “show versus tell” the story of what the site is about and who it might interest.
What is really wild is the designs are so good, they look like stock photography!
It’s only when you see the work-in-progress shots that you realize “Hey wait a minute, these are 3D printed!”.
Never overestimate what the visitor knows about you or what you have to offer them!
Clicking through to your “Thangs” profile things are way more obvious.
Most people reading this will not be familiar with Thangs – think of it like Patreon for 3D printing and modeling files. It allows enthusiasts to subscribe to future 3D models and support artists.
In my opinion, this is a much better header to use. It immediately shows what you are about, and even better shows off your talent!
Speaking of design: Introducing the colour wheel
As a designer, albeit primarily focused on 3D, you need your website to reflect design sensibilities. Currently, the website competes with the content with a highly distracting colour scheme.
What often helps when picking colours is to select a minimal set, or even one colour, and then find complementary colours for buttons and links, and so on.
You want your photography to stand out and you need your text to be readable, let the website fall into the background somewhat.
Writing, layout, and formatting of your blog posts
When looking at how your blog posts are presented, again you need to immediately appeal to your visitor’s self-interest.
IE. What’s in it for me?
Closely related to this is providing positive reinforcement of trust.
Lastly, of course, your articles need to be of interest to your reader.
Taking this blog post as an example, the first paragraph says what it is about and who it is for but the title and the featured image do not.
In fact, the featured image gives an air of mystery – something that likely would work better on YouTube than here.
We also see the post is “Uncategorized” and there are no comments.
I would nuke the comments section and rename your Uncategorized category to something more meaningful and search engine friendly, but even “News” would be better. Perhaps “3D printing models” or “STL Files” or …
SEO keywords and blog topics
SEO keyword research gives you both ideas for what to write about and also the words to use to describe your topics.
Perform keyword research – Knowing your keywords is like a superpower!
Taking the Pokemon article as an example, simply adding context, ie. that you are talking about 3D models or downloadable 3D printer files, will give clarity and potentially attract a lot more visitors to be interested in what you have to offer.
Blog SEO and Search Visibility
SEO, getting noticed in search, is important to anyone who wants more people to see their website, but especially anyone who has a membership, service, or product to sell as Tessa has here.
While the basics are covered, more work can be done to fully make the site search friendly.
https:// means connections are secure (https), and
indexable means that Google can see the site and “index” it (interpret. and store it in their search database).
- www / No-www
- Title set
- Description set
- The title has search keywords
- Description engages the key audience
Website Titles and Descriptions are very important to search engine optimization in terms of how you are represented in search results.
Your Title in particular should contain the keyword or phrases that your most-wanted visitor will be looking for as it has an influence on what Google and other search engines interpret what the associated page is about.
WWW versus Non-WWW and SEO
You will notice I highlight www to no-www. This is important because Google could see websites that work with or without the WWW as two different websites. Add to this websites that do not redirect visitors using insecure (not https) connections to the secure version, we often see sites getting into a real mess.
Fortunately, Tessa’s site only works without www, and only with https.
WWW or not WWW does not really matter, just choose only one and make sure the visitor always sees just the https version.
More technical SEO issues stopping you getting noticed
Technical SEO errors can be a problem when trying to get traffic because they are roadblocks to search engines.
Regardless, “page not found” errors and slow-loading pages are bad for user experience (bad user experience is a reason that Google would use to not rank you highly – see how this works?).
The good news is that other than some pages no longer existing, the majority of the issues could be resolved with an SEO-friendly WordPress theme and a performance tune-up.
Blog Critique Conclusion: Do this and get noticed
There are a bunch of to-do items littered around this critique so let’s prioritize some key items.
- Figure out who your most-wanted reader is and how you can best appeal to them. I have a tutorial about marketing pen portraits that should give you a good plan of action.
- You can keep the SparkyFace5 name, but you will need to define what you do for people in a compelling way so that they immediately know and care. Create a new tagline for your blog.
- Keywords – Figure out what your most-wanted visitor is searching for and write about that!
- Get a professional SEO WordPress theme that will fix some of the errors and design issues you are experiencing.
You can download a PDF of the critique in slide format for easier reference also (no email required):