Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Blogging and search engine optimization and marketing in twenty one best practices

Posted in blogs and marketing by Timothy Platt on December 19, 2009

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing (SEO/SEM) have to be among the hottest ongoing online search topics in and of themselves and for good reason. Simply creating and posting great online content that has potential for supporting your business can only be part of your effort. You also have to be found and by the people you are trying to reach out to and beyond that you have to include effective calls to action to actively bring them to engage with you. This holds for traditional Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 oriented web sites and it has to apply to online social profiles, blogs and to all the other approaches to networking and information sharing that you deploy.

Blogs present some specific challenges and opportunities for SEO/SEM and it is the purpose of this posting to at least touch on a number of them here. I also want to highlight some of the details that are important no matter how you reach out online. So much of what follows applies to more than just blogging per se.

When you post to a blog, your postings show in reverse chronological order and if you simply set up and add to your blog without accounting for this, older postings get buried, and buried deep. So:

1. Set up descriptive tags and categories for individual postings and groups of postings that share topics in common or that are otherwise connected.
2. Pick category names and tags that use the terms that others would use. This is important because these are the terms the people you are trying to reach use and they are the terms they would find you by.
3. Use effective, search-friendly wording in your posting titles too. For many blog sites the default is to convert your posting titles to URLs for directly linking to those postings so effective wording in your blog posting titles can bring you value in several ways.
4. Be a bit eye catching in your titles and even a bit controversial at times. This is not about creating conflict but of generating interest, and both for search engine results purposes and to make your material stand out through RSS feeds and other channels.
5. I write longer postings and that fits in with my blogging strategy and goals. Manage the length of your postings and be sure to always spell check and to check the grammar.
6. Graphical content can really add value, but remember that text in graphical format will be invisible to most all search tools.
7. Tag any images you add to your postings with good search-effective wording, in well written, brief text fragments.
8. Set up blog pages, the default “About this Blog” page definitely included and with search in mind. And remember that SEO is about people finding you online, but you have to keep their attention once they click to your web site, blog or whatever. That means SEM – search engine marketing.
9. Always add “about text” to your individual postings. The default option here may be in entering a brief text excerpt in a field below the blog posting content field, but you can craft a new, succinct message too.
10. Write this with care, making sure it really connects to the blog posting itself and that you do so with effective, search-friendly word selections.
11. I will have posted 119 short essay postings with this one, and most all of my postings connect into ongoing series. So I have set up 11 series-specific directory pages for presenting relevant postings and in chronological order. I include a brief explanatory and orienting text at the top of each of these directory pages and this is to make entire series accessible and in the order I have developed them in. Think through your online strategy and what you can do with these web page like blog pages to help you meet your needs. Be creative and keep these pages up to date and interesting.
12. If marketing is like dairy products and should be fresh to be effective, blogging is among the most easily and the most quickly aged past its expiration date – if you do not add new postings to refresh the site. So post and post again and keep doing so and according to a consistent schedule. I post every day. That is not necessary for everyone, but you do want to be consistent and to blog frequently enough to capture and keep a reader’s interest.
13. Link reciprocally to other blogs that you like and follow yourself. This is an important approach to blog marketing.
14. Let the online groups you are connected to know about your blog with periodic updates about postings of interest to the group as a whole.
15. If you use Twitter, post tweets to share links to your new postings.
16. If you maintain an online social networking profile on a site like LinkedIn or Facebook look for apps that you can add to them that highlight your more recent postings. You might even want to select the site you post your blog through with availability of marketing resources like these apps in mind.
17. If you maintain a conventional Web 1.0 or 2.0 oriented web site you might want to highlight this type of app with covering text as a separate web page, making that page easily findable through your site navigation and with your site’s information architecture.
18. Add a link to your blog to your e-signature so you can share word of what you are doing when you send out emails and other e-documents.
19. If you use Skype add a link to your blog to your outgoing greeting message that your contacts will see when they are viewing their Skype contacts directories.
20. Look for ways to cross-channel market and for sharing word about what you do from venue and forum to venue and forum.
21. Always look for new “none of the above” opportunities to bring value to your online presence and to develop value from it.

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