All posts by Cathy Larkin

About Cathy Larkin

I bring new media tools to the traditional PR toolkit to help hammer out a better blog & website, expand your brand, and help you build your business with style and substance. I also serve as a social media guide, helping individuals, small businesses and non-profits navigate the social networking landscape.

Why is Blogging Important for Business…Because Search Engines Play Favorites?

Small business blogging a small business owner, it can be important to blog. Why is blogging important for a small business? Because search engines favor sites with robust content, and blog posts are a part of that game. There are a couple of reasons though. First, small business blog posts attract traffic to your website. Second, they can help a customer decide to choose your business, service or product over a competitor’s. Third, a solid headline on a topic that your customers are interested in can bring new customers to your website, and can bring existing customers back for more. Websites with active blogs bring about 55% more traffic and see more conversions – people clicking links, signing up for your blog or newsletter or actually buying a product or service.

Blog Posts Help your Website Show up Higher in online Searches

In many cases, search engines reward websites that publish new content, and show them higher in searches than sites that put up their website then never make changes or add anything. Google plays favorites. Active blogs do better – twice a month should be enough, one a week even better, but at least put out one new blog post each month. Google sees so many sites go up with what they call ‘thin’ content. Just a slap-dash veneer of paint on a topic, which usually is not reflective of a quality site. But a site with rich, deep content both pages and posts around related topics is rewarded. Sites that have also generated some incoming links from a few other quality websites -search engines feel that those sites are more worthy of showing in search results than a 5 page only website about the same topic. Make your blog posts between 400 and 800 words, 600 seems to be the sweet spot (this is a tad long ant about 820 words). Occasional posts that are longer or shorter, will appeal to a wider variety of readers, and won’t hurt you. But those 500-800 word posts are not that hard to write and are seen by Google, MS Edge and Firefox as probably having enough information on a topic to be worth showing in search results.Small business blogging

A Business Blog can Help New Customers Choose to Work with or Buy from You

I have had several client prospects say I called you, over a competitor, because , “I liked the easy-going tone of your blog.” And “I like that you said you speak “English” – not all that geeky social media jargon…and I ‘got’ that from reading your blog posts.” They chose me, because the other guy didn’t connect with them as well. Well-written blog posts can help your clients take one step closer to hiring you, if they like the information you provide, or the way you present it, or find you more helpful than your competitor. A good blog post can also remind existing customers why they liked working with you or buying from you in the first place. You can link to them in your monthly newsletter, or many people sign up to get your blog posts via email.

Writing a Strong Blog Post Headline with a Twist can get your Post Seen by Potential Customers

Search engines respond to individuals typing in searches, those simple or complex requests for information typed into that little box, by scouring the internet for the right website, page or post that will make that searcher happy. A blog post with good information that answers a question and has a good title, can bring that new customer right to your online doorstep and get them to walk inside your site – giving you an opportunity to connect with them that you would not otherwise have had.

But dry, keyworded blog post titles don’t always do a swell on social websites. To get a blog post shared via social media, another way to get individuals to your site, you often need a twist. The title of this post is in two parts. The First half is the keyworded half – written to attract search engines. The second part is mean to catch your eye and make you say – “what does she mean Search Engines Play Favorites?” and hopefully click to read more. Writing a blog post title that catches the interest of both search engine algorithms and the curiosity of your potential clients is the golden ticket. Not always easy to do, and you’d better deliver on what you promise in the title – or people will bounce right off of your site and go somewhere else to find the answer. The longer they stay on your site – the better search engines like you. What are called “click-bait” titles often leave your readers disappointed, and they leave fast? And you wouldn’t want to do that. A good title followed by a good post will leave them coming back for more. What are your tricks for writing blog posts that bring traffic?


Next week… a post about What the Bleep Should I Write about on my Business Blog?


Digital Marketing Trend Predictions for 2016 Part 2

Here is my second post from being a guest in December on the #SocialPoWow 2016 Marketing PredictionsTwitter Chat about Marketing Trends & Predictions in 2016.  See my predictions below:

The questions are from #SocialPowWow Chat Host @ancitasatija & co-host @KDHungerford. “The question everyone has been waiting for: Give us your digital marketing trend predictions for 2016! #SocialPowWow”

2016 Marketing Prediction #1: The trend to consider or think about mobile 1st – before other marketing considerations – will continue to grow & begin to work better. More people have fancier smart phones & tablets, plus some wearables. But let’s not forget that we live in a multi-screen world . People often use multiple screens to research a purchase or t look for information – phone, tablet AND computer (desk / laptop) Continue reading Digital Marketing Trend Predictions for 2016 Part 2


Marketing Trends & Social Media Predictions for 2016 Part 1

I am a guest today on the Twitter Chat #SocialPoWow on Marketing Trends & Predictions in 2016. Check back here shortly after the chat for a blog post after our discussion….More to come shortly!

For an instant takeaway: Here is my Twitter list of resources to help you research trends in – demographics, technology, marketing, business etc : Marketing Confusion Shows Online SEO Strategies And Development

I’ll paraphrase the questions from #SocialPowWow Chat host @ancitasatija & co-host @KDHungerford

Question: Where did marketers get it right in 2015, and where did we get it wrong:

Marketers are finally “getting” that mobile is very important . The use of images & video increased in 2015 and will continue to grow. By 2020, according to a Forbes article, there will be 80 billion connected devices worldwide. Continue reading Marketing Trends & Social Media Predictions for 2016 Part 1


Make-over in Progress, Please Excuse my Transition Phase

hand reaching images streamingHello folks, I am taking an opportunity to do a long overdue website revamp of this website. It was one of the first sites I created and has had some work done on it, it was lagging too far behind. I got tired of apologizing for it, and of it being like the proverbial cobbler’s kid having no shoes. I would love to have unveiled a new site, perfect day one, but I decided it might be more fun to be transparent and open about the process. Continue reading Make-over in Progress, Please Excuse my Transition Phase