SEO Through Blogs and Feeds — SES San Francsico
Craig Macdonald, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Covario
Lee Odden speaks first with a fun analogy of SEO as a recipe. When dealing with a new blog or even an existing one he’s going to give us a prep recipe for blog SEO.
Blog SEO recipe prep:
- Audience – who’s coming to dinner
- Keywords – what do they eat
- Content – what do they have in the kitchen
- Blog CMS – should we use the good china
- Links and social – who can guests invite
So to explain each item in a little more detail, he’s going to talk about audience, content and keywords.
- Who are you trying to reach?
- Create an editorial plan and match the editorial plan with keywords.
Have keywords defined for each:
- Keywords for blog content
- Keywords for social content
- Keywords influence editorial plan on those topics
Basic Blog SEO Tips:
- Title tag vs. on-page title: headspace2
- Keyword in URL (slug)
- Keyword rich categories
- Keywords and synonyms in copy
- Anchor text links to older posts
- Minimize duplicate content – noindex, nofollow some of the duplicate posts that are created via the CMS
- Encourage inbound links by socializing the content
The Cycle of Social & SEO:
- Create and promote optimized content and assets.
- Content that is noticed, shared and voted on grows awareness.
- Increased exposure attracts more subscribers, fans, friends, followers and links.
- Increased links and social interaction grows awareness.
- Traffic and community help research develops and further grow
Blog content SEO logistics:
- Identify and train blog contributors on SEO (don’t be the only one to contribute)
- Titles, body copy, linking out and internally
- Create keyword and engagement guidelines
- Best practices on-page and growing social networks
- Make content promotion part of the publishing process
- Provide feedback: search and social
- Web analytics, ranking, social media monitor
Blogs can be social. Automate to social properties. Outbound links, polls, comments etc. are all ways you can use the blog. Remember it’s not just publishing content. You have to be social with it. People have to know it exists.
Benefits to having a blog:
- Content sharing
- Direct traffic
- Social syndication
- Inbound links
- Trust, authority
Keywords – Google Keyword Tool, SEMRush
On-page blog SEO – Scribe
Comment management – DISQUS, Echo
Link tracking – Majestic SEO
Social media monitoring – Trackur, Techrigy SM2, Radian6
Social management – HootSuite, MediaFunnel
Social search – 48ers.com (free), SocialMention.com (free)
Engagement – PostRank, BackType
Perfect blog SEO recipe:
- ½ cup: audience focused keywords
- 1: well optimized CMS (wordpress)
- 2 cups: content & editorial schedule
- Stir: Linkable content with promotion
- Shake: Grow and engage social network
- Bake: ongoing keyword & content refinement through Web and social analytics
Falkow speaks next.
Statement from ReadWriteWeb: the Web isn’t about pages anymore — it’s about streams, feeds and syndication.
New SEO Practices for a Google Caffeine World
Sustainable organic growth requires a commitment to unique and valuable content creation on a regular basis and the wherewithal to deliver it effectively. — Search Engine Guide
Caffeine has changed the time line that Google takes to index and look at pages. They can almost do it instantly. It’s important to get your information out to the world so that your site can be index/crawled faster too.
She says that you must blog but there are other things you can be doing too. Tap into the real-time Web. Blogs have a voice and there are reasons for putting content on it. Don’t get stuck thinking a feed is a blog. There are many other ways you can get the value you get with a blog out of other content.
SEO advice from Matt Cutts:
- Know search terms your audience uses
- Write good Meta tags
- Spotlight your search terms on the page
- Create a blog and post often
- Syndicate your content
- Caffeine requires lots of fresh content and citations ( not necessarily links, but mentions) in the social Web
- Get relevant sites to link to you
Think outside the blog. What else do you have? You should have news content. Every company has news to tell. Think about what’s happening in the industry, what’s happening with you, or around you. How can you comment on it — create content form it? What experts can you get comments from? You don’t have to wait for the world to fall down in order to have news to write about. You can create news yourself.
There is a lot that you know about your company that your customers don’t. Share that information. “How to” is very popular search on YouTube — can your customers benefit from how to videos?
Follow your keyword strategy in order to keep everything aligned too.
A strategy to avoid having to cold pitch bloggers in order to get your content shared — put a feed out there then monitor to see who picks it up. Then approach the bloggers who pick it up. You can then approach those bloggers, because the “door is now open” and you can see if they’d like more information about your product or would like to provide further information for their readers in a way that others can’t.
Break up feeds based on keyword strategy to get better results. Multiple RSS feeds are ok because its better categorized, rather than lumped together in one. Location based, product based, theme based are just some examples of how you can categorize your feeds.
Think about this, when considering whether or not you should create a feed for your content — if you only publish content on the site, only people who visit your site will see it. However, if you put it in a feed it will be picked up quicker by search engines and people. It’ll make its way to social sites and basically “grow legs”. Be smart, and have links in the content back to your site so that you’re building links at the same time.
Distribute and Aggregate
“Companies that rely solely on external networks relinquish a certain degree of autonomy. Organizations and companies using social media should have a hub on their primary web site where users can find links to feeds, blogs, flickr…” [She flipped the slide to fast for me to finish the quote or get the owner.]
Have a social media news room or something similar that links to all that content and feeds. Also have it link to your social properties as well. Make sure visitors see a complete relationship between your site and your social accounts, instead of just orphaned social network accounts that aren’t allowed a place on the company website.
Feeds and seo = ROI because it:
- Builds links
- Attracts attention of bloggers
- Feeds content to the social Web — equaling citations [for the Caffeine index]
- Boost search marketing
- Within months the feed can become top driver of traffic to site
Blogs are a must, but ask what else can you do?
What expectation do you set for customers for a blog to become a driving force to traffic?
Sally: It’s amazing that when you write good content, how quickly it can be found
Lee: If I created a site and then submitted the feed to the SE, things will happen. However, if you take a domain and seed it with influential people’s content to take it away, it’ll happen quickly.
What are the exact steps you take to get content into feed?
Lee: A blog will have a feed automatically. If you’re not using a blog, then you have to have IT department code to create feed. Or use system like Sally’s.
Do the search engines do anything when people subscribe to your feed vs to email? Do you still get credit?
Lee: Can’t imagine how receiving it via email will give credit.
What about all the duplicate content created by syndication?
Lee: Search engines look for signals for the canonical version. Hard code link in rss to original content. Hard code link, using title in RSS feed, back to original source.
Should large amounts of content be added at once or spread it out?
Lee: As a marketer, I think about this: how much value can I get out of content? If I publish an article, the ping software lets people know it exists etc. it’s an event. If I do that I’m going to get X amount of value out of that event. That’s an opportunity you will miss out on for all the other articles/posts if you dump it all at once. Slower is better!