Posts tagged: Search Engine Optimization

From Venture Capital to Agency SEO

In case you missed them, I wanted to point you to two posts I recently did elsewhere.

The Reason There Are So Few Great Entrepreneurs

This is a post I did over on the Highway 12 Ventures blog. They have asked me to write a few guest blogs about my experience and leanings over the last year when I was their EIR. My favorite quote from this post:

Great entrepreneurs must simultaneously poses pride and humility. You have to believe that, despite all rationale explanations to the contrary, you will succeed. You can not do this while ignoring your own short comings. Let me repeat that again. You CAN NOT be a great entrepreneur without understanding what your weaknesses are. With that knowledge firmly in their grasp great entrepreneurs turn their weaknesses into strengths.

Real-Time Search Provides New Opportunities for PR

Then on a completely seperate note I just wrote my first post for Studio D’s Thinkers and Doers blog. I find it slightly ironic that just as most PR agencies are catching on to the importance and power of SEO the whole game is about to go through (is going through) a huge shift. My fovorite quote here?

I know some people believe that the Twitter shark has been jumped but you cannot put the real-time genie back in the bottle. Real time is a content-eating beast the Web has never seen before.

If you haven’t already I highly suggest heading over and subscribing to those blogs as I’ll be posting on both of them.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

The rise of TSO: Twitter Search Optimization

Oh yes I can see it now. Here comes the race for Twitter Search Optimization (TSO) experts. I can see “Twitter only” marketing firms and SEO firms fighting about who is better suited to provide TSO services to clients.

While I joke about this I’m also (sadly) dead serious.

I think it will be endlessly fascinating to try and figure out what makes one persons more influential on Twitter than another. It’s not going to be an easy answer for Twitter and I think it will be quite a while before we see this rolled out. There are just too many factors at play.

Like Search Views points out do they factor in profile descriptions, number of followers, the content of your tweet stream, the number of replies and retweets? The bottom line is that it will get ugly.

You think people are playing the “who has the most followers” game now? Wait until it effects how searchable your content is.

I think that even more than celebrities joining Twitter this will change the dynamics of the community.

(Thanks to Michael Brito @britopian for the link)

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

How I moved up 300 spots in AdAge’s Power 150 in 4 months

How I moved up 300 spots in AdAge’s Power 150 in 4 months

First off I would like to say that I do not blog for fame or fortune. I don’t think having a high ranking blog is ever a means to an end. But gaining greater exposure to you content can help meet many a marketing goal. I have said in the past that I blog for three main reason:

  1. I believe that blogging makes you smarter. I would continue to blog if no one ever read this blog. Believe me that there were many times when it really felt like that.
  2. I learned so much from all of you and all of the blogs I read that blogging  is my small attempt to give a little something back. It’s with that intent that I share this post.
  3. By learning what works here on this blog I am able to apply that in my work.

When I started this blog I signed it up for the AdAge Power 150 list not with any hopes of having a high ranking but mostly because I could (so can you if you have a marketing focused blog). The name of the list is a little misleading, there are actually almost 1,000 blogs. If you’re not familiar with the 150 you can get the back story and methodology here. I’d like to point out that there are many great blogs ranked lower than this one that I think are far better. There are also many, many blogs not even listed on the 150 that would crush mine if they were on the list.

Just give me the goods

Don’t want to read this long post but just want my tips? Here they are.

  1. Blog 3 times a day or close to it
  2. Use the right tools
  3. Find a network and engage

Blogging 3 times a day

One of my New Years goals (I don’t really do resolutions) was to blog much more often. I try and blog every day, multiple times a day if I can. But I don’t kill myself trying to do it.

This was the first trick to moving my blog up the ranking. since I first added my blog to the Power 150 this blog was always listed in the 400’s somewhere. (As of this writing I’m at 148. Who knows how long that will last.) Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere found that one thing all of the top blogs had in common was that, on average, they post at least 3 times a day.

What’s funny about that is that 3 times a day has been the Golden Rule of blogging forever. It’s considered the magic number for SEO and it appears to be the magic number for attracting readers.

I don’t have time to do 3 huge posts a day. Honestly I don’t average 3 posts a day and there are many, many successful blogs that only post a few times a week. But if you’re wanting to make your blog better, blogging more often makes you a better writer and keeps people coming back.

Using the right tools

Like I said, I don’t have time for 3 long blog posts a day. Instead I try to throw out several short posts a day and a few longer ones each week. As I’m reading all the various blogs and news each morning, I come across articles that I find particularly interesting and I feel I have some value added thoughts to add. I use the ScribeFire blog editor to grab a link and some quoted text, I add my thoughts (be it what they may) then use Zemanta to add images, links and some related posts then hit post. The whole processs takes about 10 minutes on average.

ScribeFire lets me post quick short posts as I’m reading inspiring material. Zemanta allows me to quickly add all the extra stuff that makes a post a little extra special. Zemanta is also a valuable tool for gaining links, helping me discover other similar blogs and help my blog get discovered on other blogs by adding my posts to the related articles suggestions.

These are the tools that work for me but it’s important to find the ones that work for you.

Find a community and engage

This one ranks second only to having valuable content. One could argue that it is just as important for having a successful blog because if people can’t find your great content then it won’t matter.

I blog a lot about Twitter because I think it’s super cool. I also blog about it because it has by far been the highest value community I’ve been involved in. By being as engaged as I have been with Twitter it has allowed me to meet some wonderful people, share stuff I find cool and allow me to promote my own blog in the process.

Social networks are the #1 source of traffic to my blog. That’s a huge difference from last year. Last year Google was the main source of traffic. This year of all the social networks, Twitter is the main source of traffic.

Weather it’s Twitter, FriendFeed, a network of your favorite blogs, an email distribution list, whatever; get engaged, comment, share.

Beyond even that the main value I get out of being engaged on Twitter is the feedback. The community involvement makes me not just a better blogger but also a better marketer.

Final Thoughts

Much of my progress has corresponded with AdAge’s updates as they’ve tried to make their algorithms better. It’s also important to note that these tips work now but it’s ever evolving. I think these core tipss will always be fundamental but how you apply them will vary from blog to blog and as this space adjusts.

Happy blogging.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Trackbacks vs Comments [Tuesday Homework]

I have read that Tuesdays are one of the best days to post your blog. For that purpose I’m going to try a new series of posts called [Tuesday Homework]. This will help you my reader by giving you an idea to post about or a tip to put into practice on your next blog post (which should be today). It will also force me to post something on Tuesdays, the supposed best day to post.

This first tip is one of those “little things” I recommend to people that isn’t immediately obvious.

If you write a blog you know how valuable comments are to your blog. It’s the dialog, the life blood, comments make your blog feel alive (or at least like you’re not talking to yourself).

Commenting on other people’s blogs also has huge benefit; it helps you make new friends.

Commenting let’s the author know you’re reading their blog and what you think of their ideas.

Commenting allows you to join someone else’s social group. If the blogger has frequent commenter’s it allows you to virtually “hang out” with this group. It’s like being invited to sit at the cool kids lunch table.

Most blogs allow you to add your name and web site to the comment. This provides a nice link to your blog. Now 90% of blogs place a No Follow tag to these links so you don’t get any SEO benefit from them (this helps keep away spammers and trolls). The real benefit of this link is that if you are insightful, have something cool to say and add value to the blog you’re visiting people will click through to check out the new cool kid.

Now the problem that I have is it’s hard for me to leave short comments. If someone writes something really insightful that gets me thinking I probably have a lot to say about it. Sometimes I leave an essay in the comments, esp if I ask further questions or know that what I have to say is going to spark some remarks.

But often times I take advantage of the trackback feature that almost all blogs have. Blogs run on WordPress use the permalink (the link to the specific blog post) for trackbacks while other platforms like TypePad require you to copy and paste a whole separate trackback URL into your blog editing software.

The really cool thing about trackbacks is that they (usually) show up before comments. On most people’s blogs this isn’t that big of a deal. So what if my one trackback shows up before the two comments? What if you’re linking back to TechCrunch or ReadWriteWeb? These blogs generate hundreds of comments per post, but only a handful of trackbacks.

But the absolute best part of trackbacks? It gives you something to blog about. If you blog not only do you understand the value of comments you understand the value of topic ideas.

Trackbacks, like comments, work best the more current the post. If you can be the first person to comment on a post and you do with a trackback you’re more likely to see better results than if you’re commenting on a post that’s days or weeks old.

I still get traffic from trackbacks I did back in December of 07. The trick (like all things in social media) is to add value. Don’t comment just to get traffic. Comment because you have real value to add. But if you’re going to comment you might as well get the most of it.

So here’s your homework for today. Find a fresh blog post and trackback to it. If you want to get extra credit make a habit of doing a trackback once a week.

Update: My friend George made the point that I should have explained how to trackback. He found this post which may help as well.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Search Engine Optimize Your Emails

Some of you may be thinking that I’m taking SEO waaaaaay to far. And maybe I am but most of you using Gmail will understand what I’m talking about.

This also applies to Outlook users who actually use the search function or people with Google Desktop installed.

I have had a love/hate relationship with Outlook for years now: I love to hate it. Gmail saved me from a total hatred of all email. Email, when used properly (which it seldom is) is a powerful tool.  However, keeping your email organized can become the complete bane of your existence.

Gmail, with the power of Google search behind it is a godsend. I only use a handful of *labels* to organize key items (folders are for suckers, and those of us forced to use Outlook because of work). Everything else gets archived. Not deleted, not moved to a special desktop folder at the end of each month because of data storage restriction, just archived.

Oh wait what if you want that email you sent 4 months ago to that one person you met after that one event about that one thing? Just search for it. It’ll be there.

The problem I’m finding though is that my search results can bring back way too many items.

Here are some tips to maximizing Gmails search function and making uber folder organization a thing of the past (which will free up a lot more time so you can keep up on your feed reader).

Use descriptive subject lines.

This is just good email practice. But in Gmail this is especially useful. Having a descriptive subject line allows the receiver to quickly scan and prioritize which email they’re going to read. It also allows you to quickly scan the results of your email searches for the one you were looking for.

Use names.

The best way to get another bloggers attention is to use their name in your blog. Chances are they have a vanity alert set up for their name. In email it’s good to start off with the person’s name because it gets their attention, but better yet it makes it easier to search for all email from that person, especially if they are like me and have multiple email addresses.

It’s also a good idea to consistently use the name you refer to them by. I have a bad habit of starting off my emails to friends with openers like “Hey loser,” or “What’s up?” or the ever descriptive “Hey man.” I have a friend; Jake. Jake’s name in his email address is Jacob. Jake doesn’t use an email signature. If I don’t start off with his name in my email and I go back and search for “Jake,” I don’t get any results.

Keyword density.

It’s also a good idea to use keywords in your email. Use the name of a project, or the names of other people involved in the project in the email. Mention the event you met at by name. You can even go so far as to put keywords below your signature, much like embedding Technorati keywords at the end of your blog post (this might be going too far).

It is always a good idea to keep in mind other general blogging rules like, keep it short, format it so that it’s easy to scan and make it easy to understand.

And in general don’t abuse email.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Blogging Makes You Smarter

As I’ve been talking with companies about why they should be blogging (demonstrate expertise, SEO, project management, knowledge management) one reason struck me the other day as probably THE best reason to blog:

Blogging Makes You Smarter

It will make you, your employees and your entire organization smarter.

If you think about the creative process, we go through 4 steps:
Generating, Conceptualizing, Optimizing and Implementing.

The funny thing about these is that nobody is good at all 4. We are usually really good at one, okay to pretty good at one or two and usually suck at need to improve on at least one. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do all 4 well, it just means that we are naturally better at some than others.

Generating is the stage where we come up with the initial idea. These are your “idea guys.” These people never have shortages of ideas and some of them are actually good. Most of your marketers live here.

Conceptualizing is where we create the “big picture,” the “30,00 foot view.” Its usually here that we fight over the right analogy. We take the idea and start to shape it.

Optimizing is where we start to pull in our facts. This is the “practical application” phase. This is where your accountants and engineers live. You can’t have enough facts and data for these guys. This is where planning starts.

Implementation is where the rubber meets the road. Enough talk, lets go out and do it. This is your sales department (hopefully). Now that we have the idea, what it looks like and the details to implement it, it’s time to see if it flies.

Writing takes all 4 of these phases and no one is really good at all of them. I love phase 1, I could live in a think tank brain storming all day. I also enjoy phase 2, creating the possibilities of how an idea would work. I suck at need work on phase 3 (although I am constantly getting better), I make it a point to surround myself with these types of people. I’m even good at phase 4, I enjoy executing on ideas that I’m really excited about (assuming that they survived phase 3).

When you write (write well at least) you have to go through all 4 of these phases. When you blog you have the additional challenges of doing all of this and keeping your idea short and concise (and hopefully understandable). To be a blogger you have to do this consistently.

As you and your organization learn new topics, blog about them, share them and collaborate on these ideas, you collectively become smarter. Your team will be able to recall and apply the ideas better because they have internalized them, processed them and applied them in writing.

I know for me that even if no one was reading this blog, I would continue to do this because of the personal benefits I see, and I bet most bloggers would agree.  If you look at the great leaders and innovators they all did this in the form of a personal journal or letter writing.  Blogging is just the 21st century version of that.

Additional Resources on Creativity and Learning in the workplace:
Min Basadur has a more thorough explanation of the creative process.
Dan Bobinski has a blog dedicated to learning and training in the workplace.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Communication Convergence

Mike Manuel is one of my favorite bloggers and has been for quite a while.  His posts are always thought provoking.  This one especially struck a nerve with me.  He points out the amount of overlap in companies and agencies right now surrounding new media.

Media Guerrilla: New Media Twister, Everybody’s Playing…
Some folks will say that with this convergence comes a collapse, at least for some sectors and disciplines, but I honestly couldn’t tell you which ones. Personally, I don’t really care, it’s a fun time to be in the soup.

I love communications.  I love online communications.

This has lead me to do online PR, new media marketing, which lead to SEO, I do internal communications, work with IT people to develop intranet platforms.  The list goes on.

Am I trying to be all things to all people?  As consultants we all do to some degree.  I’ve always done these jobs because of a love for the work.

Helping people communicate with people online.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Who cares if it’s internal or external to an organization?  Who cares what it’s called?  But like Mike points out; it sure is fun.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Solo SEO

Tomorrow I will be speaking to the Treasure Valley Consultants Network.  I will be speaking on SEO and specifically what the individual (or the individual within a small company) can do to increase their SEO.

How does this fit into my overall  quest of educating the masses about New Media and Web 2.0?  SEO used to be a tactic that affiliate webmasters would use to gain the system and boost their site higher in the search engines in order to receive more affiliate dollars.  As Google (and its users) have gotten smarter,many of these tactics don’t work the way they used to (not that their aren’t many an SEO making a lot of money).

For the rest of us what has begun to happen is that ranking higher in the search engines has gotten easier.  If you (you meaning your website)become a resource by provide great content to your community (meaning start with a blog), and get out there (there meaning the web) and start making friends (meaning start commenting on blogs, and linking to people) you will be pleasantly surprised with the results (as long as you post regularly and are providing good content).

I will talk about how to make a plan that compliments your overall marketing plan, what you can do to get started today (well actually tomorrow since that’s when I’m presenting) and what are some of the resources available to help you on your way (the free ones at least since everyone there will be solo consultants, meaning cheap).

Download the handout if you’d like to get a sneak peak.
SEO for the rest of us

Recommended blogs for this topic:
SEOmoz and YOUmoz

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

From spam to SEO

I’d like to thank all of those that came out to the Boise Chamber today for the lunch-n-learn.  We had a great conversation about the shifts in trust that are leading to the change in communication and society and what companies can do to adjust and stay relevant.

The next opportunity that I have to speak is Tuesday, the  27th at the Treasure Valley Consultants Network.  Check out TVCNet for more detail.  I will be speaking on Search Engine Optimization and what you can do today to increase your sites placement in the search engines.  Don’t worry, I won’t get too geeky, but will hopefully be able to give you some pointers so you can start seeing some immediate results.  I don’t have a handout yet, but I will post it as soon as i finalize the content.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!


Bad Behavior has blocked 1732 access attempts in the last 7 days.