How can I create content that’s current and relevant to my readers or customers? How can I take advantage of trending topics to drive traffic to my site?

These are common questions among bloggers and site owners, today especially those who work in specific “niche” fields. It can be hard to find great ideas for “ripped-from-the-headlines” content for every industry, but we’ll show you how. Once you know a few simple tricks, it’s easier than you might think. Let’s get started…

How-to-build-a-successful-website-1080x500Finding Trending Topics

The first step toward creating great, current content is finding the right topic (or keyword) for your post. Twitter and Google are both good tools for beginner (and even expert) bloggers to find the topics and keywords that are trending in their given industry. Perform a search for your industry to see what your potential readers (or customers) are currently interested in. Once you’ve found a few ideas, you’ll need the right title for your post (to attract readers, and to set yourself apart from similar content). If you have trouble thinking of a good title post, there are a few online blog title generators that can work with your desired keyword or topic.

 

Tying Topics to Your Business

You shouldn’t write “trending content” just for the sake of having current information on your site, you should figure out which news stories are important to your specific industry or field of interest. Unless your site regularly reports on news events, it might seem strange if you suddenly start writing articles about current trending topics. This is why you should make every effort to tie these topics to your specific field of interest.

For example, let’s say that you’re a plumber. You’ve done some research about trending topics in your local area and have found there’s a lot of concern about a severe weather pattern that’s coming through the area soon. You could, in this example, write an actionable post entitled “5 Bad Weather Plumbing Tips”. By talking a little bit about a trending issue, then tying it to your niche market, you can create unique content that’s tailored to your customers and readers.

 

A Word of Warning: Don’t Overload Your Keywords

A common mistake among bloggers beginning to write content based on trending topics is keyword over-stuffing. Back when search engines were more primitive, bloggers found that they could improve their ranking on sites like Google by producing content that was loaded with a specific keyword. That way, when someone searched for “best florist in Miami”, a Miami florist could load their website up with the words “best florist in Miami”.

This simply doesn’t work anymore! In fact, it can get your site flagged as spam, which will actually hurt your Google rank. As a rule of thumb, a 1000-word post should contain your desired keyword no more than 3-4 times. To avoid the “spam” label, use a variety of synonyms and variations on your keyword.

 

As a business just getting into online blogging, marketing, and trends, you have to be knowledgeable about what’s accepted. While you could write the posts yourself, it might not hurt to have a third party do some of this work for you in the beginning. Get a good program like Frontier Business services to help guide you through your web hosting and communication, then see what markets will be best to target in your industry. With these ideas, you should be able to make your business an expert online, and a master of current topics.


There are a lot of web sites that offer company reviews. We think GlassDoor.com is the best of the best when it comes to business reviews.

First, Glass Door allows full-time, part-time, and even past employees to post reviews. Because the reviews are anonymous, employees are extremely candid and open about the stuff they write. They really speak their mind.

Second, while some online review sites just cater to employees who are super pissed off, Glass Door uses a complete review template. This template has posters list the pros AND the cons of their workplace, and it also invites them to share some advice to management. This makes the Glass Door reviews seem a lot more thoughtful.

By having anonymous employee reviews, Glass Door is a perfect tool for people who may be considering employment at a particular organization. It’s also helpful for businesses who may be in the early stages of partnering with another organization. Customer reviews are insightful as well, but nobody knows a company inside and out like the people who make it go.

It’s easy to search for companies on Glass Door, and their are thousands with profiles. The larger the business, the more reviews you can expect to find. Below are three examples of companies that have Glass Door review pages, with a few sample comments.

1. Foot Locker Reviews (790 reviews)
• 61% of users recommend the company to a friend; 3.3 stars; 69% approval score for CEO Richard Johnson
• Some pros: “Great people to work with. great discounts, fun environment.” “Very relaxed work environment and good discounts. Very easy work.”
• Some cons: “The store managers really push you to sell customers what they don’t want, i.e. insoles.” “NO COMMISSION FOR SALES!! no reward for any of your work, minimum wage salary, physically tiring for long shifts walking back and forth getting customers shoes. Managers have high sales standards and expect you to go beyond the extra mile for horrible pay.”
• Some advice to management: “stop the favoritism and hire better managers!” “Chill bro. They are way too uptight and pressuring people into buying things. It creates an aggressive environment that people don’t enjoy.”

2. Trader Joe’s Reviews (1,536 reviews)
• 83% of users recommend the company to a friend; 4.0 stars; 74% approval score for CEO Dan Bane
• Some pros: “Great pay and benefits. Able to be passionate about great food and share that with customers. Makes the normal task of grocery shopping a memorable experience.” “Company culture is amazing. There is very little hierarchy within the store, and the company usually promotes internally, which means that the managers understand the job you’re doing and often are right there doing it with you.”
• Some cons: “No place to go if you have an issue, managers support each other not staff, there is a ton favoratism, discount could be better, customers are ALWAYS right”
• Some advice to management: “Don’t micromanage. Trust your employees.””Get your act together and actually deal with problems because I currently don’t feel comfortable going to anyone here with any sort of problem or issues that I have. I feel like I’m just supposed to shut up and get through the day on anything actually important.”

3. Melaleuca Reviews (156 reviews)
• of users recommend the company to a friend; 4.0 star; 82% approval score for CEO Frank VanderSloot
• Some pros: “The people on the teams really work well together. People genuinely want to help one another and the company in general. The benefits for the area are fairly competitive.” “Free products every month. Generally a good work life/balance.”
• Some cons: “It’s difficult in any job to sit and answer calls all day.” “Frequent late-nights and a lot of employees are overloaded with work projects, which often results in sacrificing quality for just getting on to the next project.”
• Some advice to management: “Hire more help in key areas that promote front-facing and touch points with customers to ensure the solid brand loyalty and consistent communication without costly errors.”


We all know a good looking website when we see it; and we all cringe when we see a horribly designed site.

But what is it specifically that makes for good website? Well, it’s a combination of things, namely:

• It’s easy to navigate and understand. It tells you clearly what it is and what it is there for. And it only takes a few seconds to make sense to the user.

• It speaks to the right people and says the right thing. In other words, it resonates with the target audience.

• It screams value. Users see the value and are compelled to stick around.

• It’s highly usable and optimized so that users on desktops and mobile devices alike can easily use it.

• It’s constantly evolving. Things change quickly in the modern world, and good websites adapt to keep up with emerging trends.

• It incorporates universally good design principles.

That’s a lot of things to remember if you’re looking to design a web page or template. Most big companies, hopefully, employ professionals whose sole function is to keep their website(s) looking great. If you run a smaller business, you may not have the resources—both in skilled workforce and time—to dedicate to keeping your company website looking crisp, clean, and awesome. But don’t worry, we are here to help you.

In the meantime, check out some of our favorite company websites. Because they embrace the principles listed above, these sites should definitely inspire you as you decide what your business’s website is going to look like going forward.

1. Freshbooks. This site is compelling, easy to consumer, and has great “calls to action.” It doesn’t contain any unnecessary graphics or other components.

2. Whitehouse.gov. Yes, it’s a government site, but who says public servants can’t do good work? We like this site because it has a crisp design and it’s constantly being revised for the better. That shows a genuine concern on the designers’ part to get it right.

3. Melaleuca.com. This site is great because it fits right along with the company’s values of environmental and physical wellness. It has also undergone several revisions as the company has grown and its product offerings have increased. Melaleuca products are designed to attract customers, and its websites follows that same principle.

4. eWedding.com. This site is fantastic because it is a simple, straightforward way for couples to design a custom site for their wedding based on existing templates. It is super user friendly and easy to navigate.

5. 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Holy cow, does this site nail it. The front and center focus of this site is the amazing food the company offers. You don’t see weird graphics or unnecessary text—just mouth-watering meats. Simple, elegant, high-quality photography of the star product, accompanied by limited text, makes this site a straightforward winner.

6. New Hampshire Review – This new political news site is easy to use, mobile friendly and loads quickly. All of these features are critical for a positive user experience.

Source: Hubspot.com