SES Chicago 2008
, is happening this week and features a session on the topic of "SEO Through Blogging and Feeds." Lee Odden, CEO of TopRankMarketing.com, is an expert on this topic and is a panelist at this session at SES Chicago. I had a chance to catch up with Lee, to get his insight on SEO through blogging and feeds.[Manoj]:
Is there a specific Blog platform you prefer or recommend?[Lee Odden]:
We prefer WordPress and use it as much as possible. There are simply too many plus points with it and over the past 3+ years of focusing on WordPress as a blog platform, we've had plenty of time to test.[Manoj]:
The difficult part of Blogging
is after it's setup, when you have to create a consistent writing schedule - what can bloggers do keep their motivation going?[Lee Odden]:
Motivation for blogging must start with something to say. If that's a problem, then blogging is a lost cause. People that start a blog solely as a SEO exercise are going to run into issues with sourcing content. The most successful blogs (in terms of branding, PR and revenue) are for the most part written by people who are passionate about certain topics.
There are functional tips for making the task of being consistent though, including:
Maintain multiple draft posts. Start posts when you have an idea and finish it in parts, rather than trying to write an entire post in one sitting. Sometimes that works, but getting interrupted by other work can throw you out of whack.
Create a sort of editorial calendar on a weekly or monthly basis so you know what kinds of posts you should be doing instead of scratching your head in the morning wondering about what you should write that day. Example: News on Monday, Book Reviews every other Tuesday, Surveys/polls every other Friday, Wildcards every Wed and Thurs.
Monitor social channels such as Twitter and Delicious search results to see what people are talking about and bookmarking.
Tap into the Q/A that happens between customer service or sales and customers. Use that kind of back/forth information to create useful tips on blog posts
Do a series of posts on the same topic each week (Ex part 1 of 10)
Solicit guest blog posts from others in the industry or your own company
Most importantly, get feedback mechanisms in place so you can see what audiences are responding to. Nothing is more motivating than seeing traffic, links, comments and subscribers as a result of a particular blog post. Social media monitoring tools are very effective for this purpose.
[Manoj]: What are some elements that are often over looked by organizations when applying optimization on a blog?
[Lee Odden]: Few companies think to create a keyword glossary for their blog. Even when they do, they tend to focus on keyword research through regular search activities as reported by Keyword Discovery or Wordtracker. Blogs should also factor in keyword research based on social media, such as keywords used in comments, tags and links from blog posts.
Unique title tags from the post title, in the body copy and anchor text links to older posts are all good opportunities for blog SEO. Planning, writing and promoting "linkable" blog posts are often overlooked as a way to attract inbound links from other blogs and increasingly, from mainstream media sites that publish blogs.
[Manoj]: How can a an organization leverage RSS to help with their SEO Strategy?
[Lee Odden]: RSS can package text, audio or video. Syndicating various media types gives the blog additional distribution channels which other bloggers and web sites might link to. Assuming the RSS feed uses the same domain name as the blog, there's SEO value to those syndicated news items getting picked up by other web sites when they link to the feed URL.
It's important to make the RSS feed(s) easily found on the blog as well as in an auto discovery tag.
[Manoj]: Why kinds of benefits can an organization expect with the implementation of a blog (and some of the natural SEO benefits that come with a blog)
[Lee Odden]: When a blog publishes AND promotes useful content, the benefits include:
December 8, 2008
More content to be spidered by search engines and an increased footprint of the brand via search
More links from other sites to the blog and improved search engine visibility
Non-search engine traffic from social media sites and direct links from other blogs
Direct communication with customers and prospects via RSS
Depending on the blog structure and content, increased contacts by journalists that want to use blog content or authors as subject matter experts
Increased leads or sales as a result of blog content - direct or indirect
Manoj has been in the Digital marketing industry for over 10 years with experience at some of Canada's largest companies: WestJet and Shaw Communications. Manoj first started in the search marketing industry with Enquiro Search Solutions, where he spearheaded web analytics, SEO Training and the development of cutting edge search marketing solutions for clients. Manoj is also an entrepreneur in the Mobile and Local Deals space.
Manoj is a Professional Speaker having participated at events such as Web Analytics Congress (Amsterdam), Emetrics, Web Analytics Xchange, WebTrends Engage, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Innovation Summit and Search Engine Strategies. He has also contributed to several leading online publications such as: Search Engine Land, Marketing Pilgrim, WebProNews, Search Engine Guide and the Web Analytics Assocation.
He founded and successfully sold Web Analytics World (a top 100 Digital Marketing Blog – http://adage.com/power150) and was voted #39th Most Influential Digital Marketer in North America – 2009 (see: www.Invesp.net)