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July 12, 2010

SEO Hot Tub – 12th July 2010

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We have 3 topics to share from our SEO Hot Tub: How to optimise offline assets for online, the Google Webmaster combined Sitemap option and BP using social media to manage major crisis.

How to Optimise for PDFs, TV and Press Releases

Ever thought of doing key word research for your television interviews? How about competitor analysis for that print company brochure you are about to send out?

With the Internet pervading into every industry, you may want to start thinking like this. This content will in all likelihood eventually make it online in 1 form or another.  On SEM Synergy, Steve Plunkett, the Director of Search for advertising and PR agency MCC discusses the benefits of optimizing for offline assets and how it can help your online optimisation efforts.

In today’s world, almost everything is being digitised. Take for example a television interview you may have done with a TV show.  Chances are that the very same show or a snippet will be uploaded to a video channel or transcribed and placed onto a website, whether that is yours or someone else’s. (Copyright issues aside)

This is where the importance of optimisation comes to mind. If you had done a little keyword research for your interview, you may have optimised content and increase your relevancy and ranking potential. Basically, apply what you know about search engine optimisation, into your offline assets.

The other asset discussed was converting print materials into PDFs.  Any company brochure or marketing flyer has the potential to be converted to a PDF online. Google can now read and index the content in a PDF.

These are 50 ways to leave your lover, 11 ways to optimise your PDF, according to Search Engine Land, and 3 ways I prefer:

  1. Make sure your PDF is text based
  2. Fill out your PDF document property fields (especially the Title field) and tag the PDF
  3. Make sure you use a version of Acrobat that is the most widely used. It is suggest that version 1.5 is recommended.

Just to show an example, below is a search result that is not successfully optimised, and one that is.

A poorly optimised PDF:

A well optimised PDF will be relevant to certain keywords, and have a consistent use of keywords throughout the search result:

Other types of offline assets can also include newspaper editorials, magazines, flyers, podcasts and audio interviews. What other offline asset do you think should or could be optimised for online?

Google Webmaster Central: Sitemaps: One file, many content types

Gone are the days where you need a separate sitemap for your web pages and for your videos, or even more recently images.  Google has just released a tool on their Google Webmaster platform that can aggregate all your specialised sitemaps for video, images and other engagement objects onto one single sitemap.

The new sitemap is similar to the site map structure that Google recommends, but it now allows for the ability to contain URLs that reference different types of engagement objects.

As you can see in the above sitemap snippet, the address holds 2 engagement objects; a video and an image (both are included in the sitemap). This is great, in that you do not need to manage and submit multiple sitemaps.

In addition, once the sitemaps are submitted using Google Webmaster Tools, the Sitemap dashboard will display the engagement objects, which are included in the sitemap, as below:

Thank you Big G for allowing us to create sitemaps in a simpler fashion.

Harnessing Social Media to keep tab on major crisis: BP Oil Spill

The Deep Water Horizon Spill or the ‘BP Oil Spill’ refers to the incident that occurred on April 20, and involves the largest offshore oil spill in U.S history. It is an incident that is currently ongoing. It is interesting to observe how BP have managed their public relations regarding the incident and used social media as part of their crisis communication strategy.

We know that with social media and more recently the Caffeine changes that search results for certain queries are moving closer toward real time. As the web evolves to index information faster, it is left up to organisations to keep up with the pace of information flow and create a presence when an event like this occurs.

When faced with such a disaster, particularly if you are a company, many may try to take the quieter approach by blanketing media news and limiting communications in order to negate bad press.  BP appear to  have taken an entirely opposite approach and laid bare the entire event by plugging into major social networks to inform the public of the ongoing reports on the oil spill, both good and bad, or so it would appear.

BP has done the following to communicate:

  • Created a section of their corporate site dedicated to the event and how BP is managing it.
  • Established bloggers on the front line to report on how the spill is affecting the area.
  • Dedicated their Facebook account to keep the public updated daily on efforts and allow people to discuss

  • Repurposed their Twitter account to include all the important contact information, daily tweets on progress and to answer questions.

  • Created a channel on YouTube to share critical videos on all the areas of life that have been affected by the spill and how BP is managing it.

  • Utilised Flickr to showcase images of what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Run a depressing live stream of millions of gallons of oil spewing into the ocean 24 hours a day.

I think its great BP has taken on social media and used it so extensively. When this is all over, it will serve as an excellent case study for how companies can use social media to help with public image and as an overall communication tool.

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