said 8 months, 4 weeks ago:
Thanks @peterengelhardt-foundercreativebrew for being the first to submit your blog http://www.blog.creativebrew.com.au/ for review on SME. I hope you find my various notes helpful!
The design of the standalone blog is nice. Is it possible to incorporate the same header from your main site onto the blog for more consistency between the two?
Also, have you considered having a wider sidebar on one site only? That would give you more room for your description. I would also consider (if you can’t incorporate the same header & menu from the main site) adding links in the sidebar to the about, services, work, downloads, and contact pages. A first time visitor to your blog might not know how to get to your main website.
As a personal note, I’m not sure if it’s just me (others – feel free to chime in) but I never use date based archives. Just the categories and tags to find specific content.
I would add in the same set of social icons on your homepage onto your blog as well – the blog is currently missing the YouTube and LinkedIn buttons. Also, as a general suggestion, you may want to consider adding the official Twitter follow button (https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons#follow) and Facebook like button (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/) for your page so you can get followers and fans immediately without them having to leave your website / blog.
If you have a Google+ profile, you might want to add that as a link in your author bio to create Google+ authorship (https://plus.google.com/authorship). This way, you can have your photo show up next to your content in search results – it helps make them stand out more and seems to add a bit of trust factor.
At the bottom of your posts, I notice two sets of social sharing icons – I think the first set stands out best, but if possible, you might want to custom code the tweet button in manually instead of using the plugin. You will lose the analytics Share This offers, but you will gain the ability to customize the button to include your Twitter handle with the tweet of your post & it will also recommend that people who tweet your posts follow which will increase your followers.
Also, depending on the width of the visitor’s browser, the floating Share This widget will overlap the link back to your main site. Having a set of sharing buttons at the top of the post between the title and content and at the bottom of the post should be enough to encourage shares.
I see that you create good titles, but you don’t use them as the SEO title for your posts. For example, your latest post “Why Branding Matters” uses the SEO title “Just like building a house your business more than ever must look at building strong foundations.” I would suggest using the post title itself because
A) The SEO title is used in search results and optimally needs to be less than 60 characters, otherwise it gets cut off like this:
B) Why Branding Matters is a stronger title and might lead to more clicks from search.
When it comes to meta descriptions, be sure to make them a succinct summary of the post that will make people want to click on your link since the description shows up beneath the post title in search results as shown in the screen capture above. Some posts are ok, but others need to be reworked. The one on the tagline post, for example, would be better as:
Taglines, straplines, slogans… they are key phrases that identify your business by capturing your mission, promise, and brand. Learn how to create a great tagline.
Meta descriptions just need to be 165 characters or less so they don’t get cut off in search.
Also, going back to titles, try to get some good keywords in. You have a post titled “The best way to market your business – video!” I would suggest changing it to target the popular phrase video marketing to say “Video Marketing – The Best Way to Market Your Business”
Content looks pretty good. I would suggest making your posts at least 500+ words. The old SEO standard was a minimum of 300 words per page, but with Google Panda on the lose (the algorithm that dings sites on what it considers low-quality content) it’s better to have more content on your pages than less.
Notes from the Audience
Now I invite everyone here on the SME forums to add your suggestions (or feel free to agree / disagree with mine). Please add constructive feedback and suggestions. This series is to help people improve their blogs, not to have their blogs roasted Comedy Central style.