Daily Archives: October 11, 2013

How to Make Your Blog ‘Visible’ via SEO

When it comes to driving new traffic to your blog, search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important aspect. SEO allows content managers to match blog posts with what a user is searching for. But choosing the right keywords takes a bit of skill and varies depending on what type of content is being produced.

There are four areas on a webpage where keywords should be utilized:

  1. Title tags
  2. Description tags
  3. Page’s content/text
  4. Alternative tags on images
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Although build for advertising, Google’s AdWords is very useful when it comes to search engine optimization.
Screenshot taken by Zachary J. Prutzman.

This also represents the order of importance. Search engines will place priority on keywords within the title over keywords located in the page’s text.

 

Deciding on Keywords

As you’re deciding which keywords to use, there are a few things to consider.

First, make sure that the keywords are relevant to your post. Keyword spamming is a technique that many bloggers use, thinking that by typing in popular terms it will direct traffic to their page. Blogsuccessjournal.com states that keyword spamming will give your blog “a ticket to nowhere.”

Also, using 50-100 keywords is not a good idea. Less is more. Keep the keywords as specific to your post as possible. This lets the search engine know that the content is what the user is looking for.

Be aware of how long your keyword phrases are. One word (such as ‘SEO’) is going to have a lot of competition; seven or eight words (such as ‘Optimizing Your Blog For Twitter and Facebook’) is going to be very specific. Positionly says it’s good to find a balance in the area of 2-3 words; this way, it is relevant to your website and does not have as much competition as a one-word search.

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Even when typing “breaking news,” make sure to slow down and optimize your post.
Photo taken by HansKristian. All rights reserved.

One way to measure your competition for keywords is by using Google’s AdWorks. This was created for advertising, but can be utilized for any website. By typing in keywords, you can see how many global and local searches occur each month for that specific keyword. For more on how to use AdWorks, visit Today Made.

When talking to Sean Keeley, creator of Nunesmagician.com, he noted that not all posts should be treated equally when it comes to SEO. Keeley stressed that when writing about breaking news, he is very concerned with having keywords in the right place (such as the title). But, when Keeley is trying to be funny (the tone that a majority of his blog-posts use), it is necessary to keep a voice that represents this. Keywords should no longer be forced into your posts – it needs to feel natural.

While keywords are important in bringing new users to your site, remember to maintain your voice. Optimize your posts when necessary, but do not let it dictate your writing style. Stay original.

Learning from Community Manager Pros

Last week’s Online Content Panel Google+ Hangout was probably my favorite class session to date. Having professionals from the community manager community dialogue with our class provided for unique insight that I have not gotten from anywhere else. The two speakers during this hangout were Ally Greer (@allygreer), the community manager at Scoop.it, and Sean Keely (@NunesMagician), the founder of the popular Syracuse sports blog, “Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.”

Countdowns are a great way to keep your audience curious and engaged.

Countdowns are a great way to keep your audience curious and engaged.

Although she hardly touched on it, I loved that Ally got her start with Scoop.it as an intern during her study abroad semester in Paris, France. I also studied abroad in Paris, which has an underrated tech and social scene. Not only does this excite me because of my own dreams to one day move back to Paris, but proves how global content management companies are and how community management work can be done anywhere in the world. Aside from her international experience, what I found most helpful from Ally was her discussion of “learning on the job.” There is only so much you can learn from a classroom. No matter how much preparation is involved, so much of being a community manager is being able to respond to scenarios in the moment and deal with problems as they come. Ally is a true example of this mentality, and it is things like #CMGRClass that provide tools that would be helpful in such scenarios.

Sean Keely's Twitter feed, where he is highly engaged with his audience and often uses as a source for new content.

Sean Keely’s Twitter feed, where he is highly engaged with his audience and often uses as a source for new content.

I found Sean’s story to be rather unique. Unlike Ally, he first (unknowingly) created a following, just by writing what he loved. It was only after the blog’s reach grew that he saw there was community to be managed. I find this “reverse” way of getting involved with community management to be very unique and thus, speaks to the niche nature of Sean’s audience. Sean capitalizes on this uniqueness by generating content through his fans — incorporating their content as guest posts, picking up on trending topics through comments and social media, etc. Sean’s method shows how community management does not have to be intimidating or overwhelming. For smaller brands, community management is rather simple and does not even require a ton of tools or resources (which may be the case for larger, more corporate brands).

Thanks Ally and Sean for chatting with us!