Category Archives: seo

SEO Works and Content Marketing Amplifies Good Content

A colleague recently sent a Forbes blog post around for comment, The Death of SEO: The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content. My reply turned into almost a blog post so I thought I’d post my thoughts here.

This headline may attract attention (great job!), but it’s similar to the headlines over the past few years proclaiming email is dead. Such headlines attract discussion, but email is not dead and SEO is not on its deathbed. Technologies and information processes are just refined over time. It happens. We, in turn, evolve our business practices.

The sub-title: “The Rise of Social, PR, and Real Content” is the real message where brands should focus. It calls for brands to uplevel social, sharing and PR in order to help make the “real, valuable, relevant content” more visible to audiences. How might that be accomplished, in addition to great SEO?

1. Get more inbound traffic with social sharing and content syndication. Not only can the brand’s main social channels reach people, but employees are largely an untapped market to increase social sharing. It’s easy for employees to get ‘heads down’ and think it’s not their job if they don’t have “social” in their job title. But, employees can do more to increase their own social visibility and sharing content that relates to the content their employers create and publish.

2. Uplevel sharing opportunities on domain. Did you notice on the Forbes article at how prominent the sharing buttons are in the article? They are stationary in the left margin no matter how much you’ve scrolled. Plus, there is a small horizontal row of sharing options under the post. Making sharing opportunities more visible instead of just an afterthought would help build visibility and traffic for good content.

3. Build more internal PR for content. How many brands have active internal programs to increase external social sharing by employees? Training interested employees and turning them into brand ambassadors, would also help create more visibility and traffic for good content.

In addition to the SEO work that we do when we publish blog posts or web content, we have to realize that our work is not done. Content marketing or content activation is the second half of the solution. Each of the above suggestions are other areas that can help brands grow traffic for great content that aligns with Google’s changing search algorithm.


Building Relationships

Silence would be a blessing.Someone asked me the other day the difference between link baiting, link building, and link or comment spam.

Trying to keep it simple, here is what I said:

Link baiting: is a philosophy that places importance on creating useful, remarkable content that people will, just as a matter of course, want to share with their friends because of the content’s intrinsic value.

Link building: is a method of gaining connections via a hyperlink to another web page or site. Increasing the number of links to your site from credible sites is important because it’s one of the ways Google measures the popularity of your site and the position it achieves in search engine results. More good links increases a site’s visibility with Google.

Link/comment spam: In face-to-face conversations, this type of person likely talks highly of himself and what he’s doing while not listening to others. Online, this sort of behavior is called link or comment spam. It’s the frowned-upon practice of a poser saying little or nothing relevant in a comment on a post, but including a link to his site with whatever keywords he deems important. It can leave a bad impression that he’s just doing it to game the system and drive traffic to his site.

As in this funny picture I found, this type of behavior may make you want to tape his mouth closed or glue the keys on his keyboard together. But of course, the first route of link baiting with professional link building are the best options of how to handle things.

However, even more, I like meeting and talking with people face-to-face. I’m so glad it’s a component of my job because then I have the opportunity to build real relationships that have the potential to continue on and on past one blog post. That’s why I wanted to attend BlogHer, the Social Media Soiree, Social Luxe Lounge, and BowlHer last week. It’s inspiring to build relationships with so many savvy entrepreneurial women. If later, we and our companies do more business together, then that’s icing on the cake.

The longtail ROI of video is SEO

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In my previous post, Video is Queen, I wrote about why video is queen (if content is king) and that video has the potential to strengthen endorsements and brand recommendations.

It’s no secret that one of the values for brands is when multiple viewers click through in a timely manner to purchase based on a video endorsement. These conversions are relatively easy to measure. However, it gets more difficult for a brand to track conversions over time, especially for videos.

Over time, it also gets harder for people to find video reviews.

I may remember for a few weeks or months (depending on the effectiveness or affectiveness of the video), but unless I use social bookmarking, I’m not going to be able to find the video review easily over time because searching video content is still not fully possible.

Sure, on YouTube or social bookmarking sites, it might be easier if people use good tags and descriptions, but that might not be a full explanation of what the video actually contains. That will only begin to happen when the content of the video becomes searchable.

If a blogger wants to transfer more long-tail ROI to the brand because of positive feelings about the product, then in addition to doing a video review because of its affective potential and popularity, they might also consider writing optimized copy including a blog post, headline, and tags that are search friendly along with the video review.

Despite the affective nature of video and its popularity, video is hard to find via search unless combined with text that can be optimized. It’s an issue both brands and bloggers might consider as they calculate longtail ROI.

Web 2.0 Conference Notes

I attended the Web 2.0 Conference last week in San Francisco. Over the next few posts, I’ll try and upload some of my notes for you from the Web 2.0 marketing sessions I attended.

One of the Tuesday workshops I attended was SEO From Soup to Nuts, by Stephan Spencer. Stephan is president of Netconcepts, writes a column for Search Engine Land, and his blog is Stephan Spencer’s Scatterings.

SEO has become one of my interests over the past few months because a good SERP is one of the ways that I’m measuring the success of the various social media marketing projects I’m working on for Allstate.

Stephan held everyone’s attention. I’ve only been following the SEO buzz for a short time, but everyone listened to hear what the secret sauce is to getting good search engine results on Google. I’m sure there are a few secrets, but from everything I’ve read and heard, it really comes down to basic concepts like publishing good content, using good keywords and at the right keyword density.

Stephan pointed out the right keywords are ones that are relevant to your business and popular with searches. There are a number of good SEO Tools available to help you see your site the way a search engine would and to refine your keywords.

SEO Tools
Some of the tools mentioned include:
Google Suggest
Yahoo Search Assist
Woodtracker (subscription)

Much of the talk focused on keys to pagerank such as getting your site fully indexed, making sure your pages are visible to crawlers, and building good inbound links.

Please update your links for m2h blogs.
Speaking of building good inbound links, would you please check your links for me and make sure they’re still working? My site at “mwrites” died a while back because of problems with a domain host.

But back to the topic at hand — did you know that the length of time your domain is registered for is one of the ways authority and longevity is determined? I don’t know that it’s a major factor, but it was one of the things mentioned.

Stephan’s Top 3 Tips
1. Content – write good content
2. Architecture – publish flatter (1 level down better than 5)
3. Links – build inbound links with good authority

Another tip Stephan gave was how to add good anchor text to your website links on LinkedIn. it’s easier than you think to do, but it was a great final remark he gave as “homework.”

Are you on LinkedIn? View my profile and add me as a contact.

View Marcia Hansen's profile on LinkedIn

More to follow.