September 1, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

Advertising and Search: the one-two punch

Posted by: of Compendium on 07/6/10

I received a great reminder recently while I was at AdTech in San Francisco.

TV celebrity at AdTech

This guy was mobbed everywhere he went! Why? Because he is on TV!

I was immediately reminded of the Seinfeld episode where they are pitching the Show About Nothing:

Producer: “So why am I watching”
George: “Because it’s on TV!!”

Here is the thing, and how this relates to Search Marketing. Search can’t create demand. Think about that for a second. People search because they already have an idea or problem and are seeking a solution. Whereas other forms of traditional marketing are very good at creating demand. For instance, Advertising still creates demand. The opportunity then for search is to intercept that demand. If you are advertising, you must also have a powerful search strategy and here’s why.

I’m really enjoying reading Vanessa Fox’s new book: Marketing in the Age of Google. In the book, Vanessa makes (basically) the following points:

  • Of the 18 Billion searches each month nearly 12% are retail focused. 70% of product searches are for categories (digital cameras, washers)
  • For most searches, the home page is not the entry point. “Any page can be the entry page” “We have to rethink our approach to site design and user interaction based on the new world”
  • “Even those retailers who don’t sell products online or who have substantial offline sales are still impacted by search.” “Sixty three percent of search-related purchases occur offline” “In a webvisible/Nielson study, 82% of respondents said that they’ve used the Internet to find local businesses; 80% say they’ve researched a product or service online before buying it locally.”

So here’s the thing I wanted to test. How does traditional advertising impact search queries? From that: How does search marketing play a role in overall advertising strategy? Does Corporate Blogging?

Let me give you an example. Compendium has a client that spends a lot on TV and Newspaper advertising. You can literally watch the search traffic climb on the products that they feature in their advertising. Consider the ramifications here. Companies spend millions on Advertising…creating demand. Convincing me that I need this brand new flat screen Samsung TV with 5 hdmi ports…and LED. Do I rush to the store? No! I rush to Google. If company B shows up for that search, where do I buy?

Check out the following charts:

Notice the peaks? What do those peaks have in common? If you guessed Sunday you win the prize. Ok, consider this (although it may be obvious to you now) big retail invests millions of dollars every week creating beautiful, compelling enticements to buy new products. These go into our newspapers every weekend.

What these inducements clearly do is create demand for the products advertised. What do the readers of these Advertisements do? They do just what Vanessa Fox says they do…they go online and research the products that caught their eye. Not only the brands (you see spikes in branded searches too) … but the products themselves.

If these brands are not ranking on these product searches, didn’t they just spend all that money to send shoppers into the arms of their competitors? About one million searches are done each month for [samsung led tv]. Not a single big brand shows up organically to help the consumer buy this product locally through a brick and mortar store. Who paid for the advertising…?

There are millions of searches that contain the term “washer” spread over hundreds of different phrases or queries. To Vanessa’s point: “Any page can be the entry page” “We have to rethink our approach to site design and user interaction based on the new world”. Businesses are looking at the scale afforded them through enterprise level blogging software. It’s the perfect tool for thinking differently about SEO.

Targeted blogging about your products and services, coupled with your geography, use cases, specials and coupons help make certain you have the right organized content online to ensure you show up for the searches that you just spent a fortune creating demand for through traditional advertising.

New Survey: Are Blogs Still Important for SEO and Why?

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 01/27/10

Blog SEO SurveyA large number of companies are familiar with the process of starting a blog, but few have experienced the challenges of maintaining and growing a blog for more than a year. Understanding long term benefits is key to sustainable business blogging. One of the most notable benefits of publishing blog content, especially if optimized, is the compliment to search engine optimization efforts.

TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog recently conducted a survey with 326 Corporate, Agency, Small Biz and Independent marketers. Long time readers of Business Blog Consulting understand the SEO value of blogging, however, we wanted to check in with marketers with a variety of blogging experience to see what their experiences have been firsthand.

Key findings:

95% indicated blogs are used as part of their search engine optimization efforts
87.4% successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging
90% cited blogging as important, significantly important or a primary SEO tactic

Blogs are started for many reasons ranging from corporate communications in a newsroom format to conversational posts from executives or subject matter experts. When it came to SEO benefits from blogging, the top choices were:

  • Creat new optimized content
  • Linking from blog posts to optimized web site content
  • Attract external links
  • Increase crawl rate / frequency
  • Community building for content/links promotion
  • Content Syndication

The timeframe between starting a blogging effort and seeing results is a very common question for companies considering a blog as part of the marketing and communications mix. In the TopRank survey, respondents reported seeing SEO results fairly quickly:

94% of bloggers reported seeing measurable SEO benefits from blogging within 12 months
54% of respondents start to see SEO benefits from blogging within 3 months

After timeframe to see results, the next most common question about building a case for a corporate blog are the results. Adding a SEO effort to a corporate blog allows companies to increase the outcomes and reach of the content published. The top benefits from blog SEO included:

  • Increasing company site traffic
  • Increase company leads/sales
  • Inbound links
  • Referrals from the blog
  • Lead generation from the blog
  • Improved web site rankings
  • Increased blog traffic

Starting a blog purely for SEO reasons will make content sustainability difficult in the long run. A blogging strategy must meet meet other goals as well, especially those that involve engaging customers or interactions with readers. Other success measures from blogging include:

  • Increase overall online exposure. They won’t know about you if you don’t say anything, participate
  • Contribute to company’s bottom line goals in at least a semi-direct way
  • Branding and owning SERPS
  • Increase quality of site traffic
  • Improve visibility and prominence in search engine results is by far the most important, it’s all about search
  • Branding
  • Incease visibility and demonstrate the company is “up to date”

Convincing management that a corporate blog or any kind of blog is not always easy. Nor is long term creation of content and promotion. Many of the comments about obstacles to blogging centered around time, resources, measurement and a lack of awareness.

  • 67.2% cited resource issues as the most common objection to implementing a blog
  • 42% cited content sourcing issues
  • 35% didn’t see the benefit of blogging
  • Regulated industry or legal issues got in the way for 19.3

Is blogging here to stay? 92% of respondents feel blogging will continue to be an important content optimization and marketing tactic for the next 3+ years.

Read the full results of the Blogging and SEO Survey here along with a large number of comments from respondents on measuring success and SEO applications of blogging. Follow @leeodden on Twitter for more insights into Social SEO and Blogging.

Take the Business Blogging and SEO Survey

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 01/14/10

Blog SEO Survey Blogs serve many purposes for companies and individuals alike. As easy to use content management systems, blog software enables companies that are “content challenged” a mechanism to create content for subscribing customers and search engines.

While many companies start blogs with SEO in mind, there are many overzealous claims and exaggerated expectations about what works and what doesn’t.

At MarketingBlog.com we’re currently running a poll with business bloggers to better understand the perceived SEO impact of business blogging and would greatly appreciate 1-2 minutes of your participation: http://bit.ly/6Lr4Xb

Responses will be aggregated early next week and an executive summary will be published here on Business Blog Consulting. Full results will also be available in a Business Blogging and SEO Report.

If you’re a business blogger, please take and share the survey.

To make it easy to share the survey on Twitter, Facebook or FriendFeed, here’s a bit of text to copy/paste:

Take the Biz Blogging and SEO survey: http://bit.ly/6Lr4Xb

Shorten Your Blog Post URLs So You Don’t Look Spammy to Google

One of the great things about using WordPress is that it automatically creates keyword-rich, spider-friendly URLs for your posts (as long as your Permalink settings in the Options tab of the WordPress admin are configured properly). Many times, though, these URLs are TOO keyword-rich. In other words, the URL has too many words in it. That happens if you create a long title to your post, because every word in the title is worked into the URL automatically by WordPress.

But how long is “too long” for a URL? For the answer to this question, I went to the source: Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team. In my interview with Matt Cutts, I asked:

“What is excessive in the length of a keyword-rich URL? We have seen clients use keyword URLs that have 10 to 15 words strung together with hyphens; or blogs – we have seen them even longer there. A typical WordPress blog will use the title of the post as the post slug, unless you defined something different and you can just go on and on and on. Can you give any guidelines or recommendations in that regard?”

Matt answered:

“Certainly. If you can make your title four- or five-words long – and it is pretty natural. If you have got a three, four or five words in your URL, that can be perfectly normal. As it gets a little longer, then it starts to look a little worse. Now, our algorithms typically will just weight those words less and just not give you as much credit.

The thing to be aware of is, ask yourself: “How does this look to a regular user?â€? – because if, at any time, somebody comes to your page or, maybe, a competitor does a search and finds 15 words all strung together like variants of the same word, then that does look like spam, and they often will send a spam report. Then somebody will go and check that out.

So, I would not make it a big habit of having tons and tons of words stuffed in there, because there are plenty of places on a page, where you can have relevant words and have them be helpful to users – and not have it come across as keyword stuffing.”

Based on this new information from Matt, you can see that even your blog post slugs have the potential to appear spammy and “keyword stuffed,” which doesn’t look great for your readers and may end up getting flagged as “spam.” So how can you prevent your blog from appearing spammy?

I’d strongly recommend that you curb the length of your URLs. There are a couple of different approaches to this in WordPress:

  1. Hand-craft your own “Post Slug” when you are writing the post. To do so, simply type in your desired post slug into the “Post Slug” field found on the right-hand side of the “Write Post” page in the WordPress admin (you probably will have to hit the + sign to see the field). You can mirror your post’s title but drop throwaway words like “the” and “and”. You can take the first four words or so of the title as your slug. Heck, you could even write something totally different that doesn’t resemble your post title.
  2. Use a WordPress plugin that will trim your post slugs down to a more manageable size, i.e. to five or six words. There are two plugins to choose from that will accomplish this: the WordPress Slug Trimmer plugin or the Automated SEO Friendly URL plugin.

For more great tips from Matt Cutts, I invite you to listen to my audio interview in MP3 format or read the full transcript. The interview is a little over 30 minutes long, and it has some invaluable advice.

Enjoy, and happy search engine optimized blogging!!!

 

Syndicate:

RSS RSS Feed



Posts via e-mail

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Recent Posts:

Archives:

Buzz Cloud:

Recent Readers:

Tag Cloud:

Categories:

types of depression migraine symptoms building muscle for women how to get rid of back acne fast how to beat depression treatment for depression painkiller addiction signs workouts for women