photo credit: idovermani
After an invigorating keynote speech from Charlene Li I hit the ground running. “SEO Through Blogs and Feeds” was moderated by Joshua Palau, of Razorfish and included a brilliant panel of industry-blogger thought-leaders:
Amanda Watlington, Owner, Searching for Profit
Dixon Jones, Managing Director, Receptional LTD
Sally Falkow, President, PRESSfeed
Lee Odden, SES Advisory Board & CEO, TopRank Online Marketing
Jim Hedger, Lead Blogger, Webmaster Radio
Watlington took the podium first and gave a brief look back on SES conferences and the blogging sessions. The first blog session was five years ago in an unglamorous position. It was the last session on the last day. The panel didn’t think anyone would show up but they ended up with a full room.
Don’t blog just because everyone, even your competitors are doing it. Avoid the “me-too” blog. It’s essential to create unique and vital content for your business otherwise you will be lost in the shuffle. Focus on business content, not your personal life.
Watlington has noticed the impact the recession has blogging. Companies don’t feel they can keep up and stay focused with a limited budget but your blog must be an integral part of your marketing plan, not a pet project. Move the blog from the “experiment” mode to fast track implementation with a content strategy.
It’s All About the Content
Develop a long-term battle plan, peek into your company’s future and amp up what is interesting.
You absolutely must have analytics and assess them.
Build your keyword list and live by it- but revisit it regularly to discard stale keywords.
Address comments in a timely manner and encourage deeper reading, link to your friends.
Use social media to announce and expand your reach. Treat each post as a mini PR campaign.Track and analyze your success.
Blog Ranking Case Studies
Dixon Jones provided excellent case studies on how blogging gives you the ability to rank for popular keywords.
Post Secret started as a space for people who have a secret and want to share it but not with anyone they actually know. Seems kind of silly, but it’s immensely popular and now they have a wealth of backlinks and domain links. PostSecret now ranks for the intriguing singular keyword: “secret”.
David Naylor is #1 for “UK SEO” but how did he get there? He continually posts with provocative and interesting content. Because of this quality the number of links has steadily grown.
The anchor text related to his blogs are amazing but only 3 links say “UK SEO” verbatim. But he has 6 comic blogs saying Dave Naylor UK SEO.
Bloggers- spread the linklove! Linking to relevant and similar sites is essential when blogging. Bloggers love reciprocal links and other bloggers notice if you link or not. You have to spread the love to get love.
The Necessity and Importance of Feeds
Next, Falkow focused on feeds because there is useful content on your website which wouldn’t be appropriate on a blog but should still be broadcast and available.
The best way to socialize your content is with news feeds (RSS). Google’s definition of a blog: “a webpage with frequently updated content” and as Matt Cutts said: having a blog is important for ranking in Google SERPs. Do the math.
RSS feeds not only notify your subscribers and other bloggers to your content search engines love feeds and notice how active they are. Aggregators of feeds such as Technorati and Google Blog Search have a community which feed off this content who in turn post these links to their social web. All these people have their own audience creating a snowball effect.
Odden segued from discussing optimization and broadcasting to the tactics of achieving links:
8 Blog Link Tactics
- Quality out means quality in- high quality content is important know your audience
- Link Out- spread the love
- Make a big ass list.
- Get on “other” lists- tell them to consider yours on these list blog comments
- Make a killer tool that makes it easy to share and bookmark
- Write guest posts (link to lisa and derek here?) like associations and other promenent blog- let them know you’re availabl
- Power up ReTweets -ad that RT badge and make it EASY
- Network OFFLINE- Use socail media to connect with people online and augment it with LIVE networking
BONUS TIP: dynamically embed a hard link to the post in you RSS feed
WebmasterRadio’s Jim Hedger was last up and dove right into benefits of feeds for other formats besides text. “The fine arts of wide-casting to a narrow audience and narrow-casting to a wide one”
This panel is full of great bloggers, but they are all about text- Hedger is all about broadcasting sound. Being in this industry, it’s all about narrow-casting and knowing your audience is a big key to success.
Webmasterradio is a major voice in the SEO community. They’ve been around for 5 years and have compiled 10,000+ unique historic files. Each file has a unique topic, with its own page, imagine the SEO that goes into optimizing and maintaining this massive wealth of SEO data?! Wow. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
- In 2008 Webmasterradio recieved 2.1 million unique listeners: 53% from distributed podcasts like iTunes
- 32% on-demand directly from webmasterradio.fm
- 15% listen live
- Since 53% of their listeners are off site- distribution is everything.
The takeaways from this session in a nutshell: create unique and vital content, have a content strategy, link out to get links in, you must have a feed, know your audience and know where and how to distribute your content.
“Blogging’s going to be around for quite awhile so we better get good with it.” -Amanda Watlington