Content marketing from A to Z: 5 things that start with B

Posted by on Aug 1, 2012 in SEO basics | 2 comments

Content marketing - blogging, broken links, bullet lists and more

Today you’ll learn about how you can check broken links on your website, why you should use bullet lists in your content, what breadcrumbs are, and more… All together 5 things that helps you make the best of your website content – and they all start with the letter B.

This article is part 2 of our series Content marketing from A to Z. Make sure you get notified via email when we publish new blog posts and tutorials: subscribe to newsletter

Broken links

Broken links checker

You do not want to send your visitors to a non-existing page. Not on your own website. Not on another website you’re linking to. It just comes across as unprofessional.

Your links are there for a reason, so make sure you give your visitors what they expect – to land on the correct page with the information you’re linking to.

There are a few good tools out there to make sure you’re not running a website with broken links:

  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Plugins for your website system
  • External tools

Let’s talk about each of your options:

Google Webmaster Tools – crawl error report

Keep track of your broken links via Google Webmaster Tools (under Health > Crawl Errors). Now, go to your own Google Webmaster Tools account and check if your site has any errors (I’ll be amazed if you have no errors listed).

If you don’t have a Google Webmaster Tools account for your website, what are you waiting for? It’s one of the most popular and useful SEO tools you’ll have at your fingertips. Oh, and it’s free!

Plugins and extensions – broken links checker plugin for WordPress

If you’re running WordPress, you can install the clever little Broken Link Checker plugin. It monitors your site and will automatically let you know in the dashboard of your WordPress admin when it detects a new broken link.

HELP! I’ve been trying to find similar plugins/extensions for Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems…but with no luck. If you know a good broken links checker extension for your CMS, please let us know in the comments.

Other tools for checking broken links

If you want to scan your site for broken links right now, you can use any of these popular tools:

Checking your broken links is important when you do a content inventory of your website, which is a great start for creating your content strategy…but we’ll talk more about that when we get to the letters I and S in this series.

In the meantime, make sure you prepare your basics: in our previous blog post you can read about “Audit your content – what do you have and what do you need?


The topic of blogging is huge! Your blog is the heart of your content marketing, especially for small businesses. Yes, it’s a lot of work…but it’s worth it, and not as difficult as you might think. A good blog post for both beginners and pros is “7 business decisions to make before you start a blog” by Nicholas Tart.

Blogging beginners

If you are wondering what a blog is, read more at What is a blog?

My general top 3 tips for blogging are:

  1. Own your content – your blog should be on your website, not somewhere else. Your blog is part of your business, so think of it as part of the family.
  2. Publish on a regular basis, whatever that means to you (daily, two days a week, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
  3. Do not publish a blog post just for the sake of blogging! Think Quality over quantity – if your content isn’t very useful for your readers, keep on working on it until it is. Then publish it.
What about you? If you’re struggling with your blog, what’s your biggest problem? Time? Ideas? Know-how? Anything else? Share your thoughts in the comments and I’ll reply with some tips and trix for you.

Blogging pros

When you’ve been blogging for a while, your focus usually turns to finding good blogging tools. My absolute favorite tools for blogging are WordPress as a publishing tool, and Scrivener as a writing tool…but you’ll read all about it in an upcoming blog post.

What about you? What’s your number one blogging tip? Which blogging tool makes your life easier? Please let us know in the comments – we love to spread the word about awesome stuff!

To get some new ideas, Social Media Examiner just published a curated list of 22 useful blogging tools.

More blogging for both beginners and pros

Later in this series you’ll learn how to make your blogging and content creation easier:

  • plan with the help of an editorial calendar
  • what to do about writers block
  • guest blogging in two ways
  • the different types of content
  • how to get ideas for blog posts

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Bullet lists

Bullet lists

Love them or hate them – lists are a great way to help your readers quickly scan your content. We’re not talking about blog post topics like “Top 5 tips to blah blah blah…”. We’re talking about actual html coded lists, like the one below telling you about the difference between numbered lists and bulleted lists:

  • Numbers indicate an order of importance (1, 2, 3, etc.)
  • Bullets can be used for items that are listed in no particular order

You should only use bulleted or numbered lists to enhance your content. A blog post only made up of bullet points is really boring to read, so surround your lists with paragraphs of text.

Bullet points are not only good for your readers – it’s also very practical when you’re creating an outline of a new blog post. List the things you want to write about, and then convert them into headings and sentences. If you number them, you’ll quickly be able to see if you have a gap in your content flow.

Some ground rules:

  • Keep your bullet points short and sweet, and use your surrounding text to elaborate on the points.
  • Have a theme for each bullet list – don’t confuse the reader by mixing and matching unrelated points.

For more information about how to create great bullet lists, see these blog posts:

Buffer – schedule your social media updates

Buffer app - schedule your tweets and Facebook updates

Buffer app – schedule your updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

You know when you find that awesome website that you want to share with your followers, or you just published your own great blog post and you want to spread the news about it…but:

  • you’ve already posted a ton of stuff to your Twitter account today (and you’re starting to look like a spammer)
  • your target market isn’t active at that very moment (so they probably won’t see your update)
  • you’re going on holiday and want your Twitter account to post updates to your followers while you’re away

If any of the above rings a bell for you, then check out Buffer (referral link). It helps you schedule your updates on Twitter, Facebook (both pages and profiles), and LinkedIn. That way you can make sure your new blog post pops up in your target market’s streams at the perfect time of the day.

Now when you’ve heard of Buffer, I’m sure you’ll notice the specific sharing buttons on many different blogs. If you have a Buffer account, you can quickly add those blog posts by just clicking the sharing button (just like you do with Twitter and Facebook buttons).

Get extra space for Buffer!
You’ll get space for an extra post in your free Buffer account if you sign up for Buffer via this link.


There are many ways you can improve the looks of your content in Google’s search results. What we’re talking about is something called “Rich Snippet Markup“.

You will read about more about the different things you can do with rich snippets markup in our upcoming blog posts, but in the meantime you can test your own pages with the help of Google’s rich snippets testing tool.

What are breadcrumbs?

Breadcrumbs markup

Breadcrumbs markup to look better in Google search results

If you look at the screenshot above (from Google search results), you’ll see a breadcrumb trail for one of my blog posts. This gives Google searchers some extra useful information about what category the blog post is in. The main reason you would do this is to (hopefully) increase the amount of people clicking on the link to your page.

If you scroll up to the top of this blog post on my website, you’ll also see a breadcrumb path. This helps you navigate my website better (as an addition to the main menu navigation), and gives you a better context for the page that you’re on.

SEO isn’t only about what you see in the search results – it’s also about your website visitors. What’s the point of visitors coming to your website if all they do is getting frustrated and leave? Help your visitors, and they’ll thank you by staying longer on your site and visit more of your pages. If they like what they see, maybe they’ll sign up for your newsletter (hint) – and that’s one of your conversion goals, isn’t it?

How to you implement breadcrumbs?

In this video, Google explains what breadcrumbs are and how you can implement it on your site:

You will find Google’s official information about breadcrumbs markup here: Rich snippets – Breadcrumbs. As always, don’t try to trick Google.

If you’re not a coder, don’t worry. For WordPress websites you can use Yoast’s SEO plugin and easily implement breadcrumbs for each post and page.

HELP! I’ve been trying to find similar plugins/extensions for Joomla, Drupal and other content management systems…but with no luck. If you know a good breadcrumbs extension for your CMS, please let us know in the comments.

In upcoming blog posts you’ll learn how to get your profile picture to show up in the search results.

Google PlusTo get ready for this, set up your own profile on Google Plus and start connecting to others in your industry. You can start by adding us to your circles.

Did you find this blog post useful? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

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Tess is a location independent Swedish emarketing tigress, and the founder of For the Love of SEO and owner of JoomlaTips. Follow Tess on Twitter: @tessneale / @joomlatips / @fortheloveofseo and Google Plus: Tess Neale


  1. Content marketing is about connecting with people. It’s about building relationships. SO make sure your content is able to all this for your clients and customers.

    • Hi Stanley,

      You’re right, content marketing is a lot about conversation and bringing value to the readers. It’s not about selling something to the readers, but at the same time conversions are always in the back of the mind of the writer – big or small conversions, newsletter signups or product sales…anything that brings the reader into the sales cycle.

      That said, content marketing is mainly about building trust through providing value.

      Love & light,


  1. Content marketing from A to Z - are you making the best of your website content? - For the love of SEO | For the love of SEO - [...] 5 things that start with B (broken links, blogging, bullet lists, buffer, breadcrumbs) [...]

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