By Stephanie Cockerl, nextSTEPH for Smallbiztechnology.com
If you are a small business and you don’t have a blog a weblog), you could be missing out on some significant organic /natural search engine visibility and traffic.
Stephane Spencer of NetConcepts stated the blogs and feeds (Syndication of blog posts) can help increase search engine optimization (SEO) visibility.
This was the session that was literally bursting out of the seams. Over 1000 people attended this session, some sitting on the floor, while others were left in standing room mode.
Over 66% of the room indicated that they have a blog. Over 50% of the room indicated that they know what RSS (Real simple syndication) feeds are.
Stephane used WordPress as an example of blog application to use due to it ease of category creation. He also stated the WordPress also had a plugin that assigns feeds to each category.
How to get recognized in the search engines with the blog?
1. Get rid of “Just another WordPress Blog” descriptions
2. Tagging (which creates categories) also creates new web pages
3. Optimize title tags, post title – There is a SEO title plug in for WordPress
4. Use Tag conjunction page. A post that uses 2 or more of the same tags.
5. Use anchor text. Example. www.smallbiztechnology.com/about.html#ramon where “ramon” is the anchor text
6. Use Headine tags (“H1” tags ) for headlines of blog posts. For permanent links or “permalinks” – do not use the word “permalink” as a text link. Instead say “more..” or “Read more about Ö.”
Rick Klau of Feedburner also addressed the room. He stated that redirects are more important more than ever. The main redirects used are 301 for permanent, and 302 for temporary.
Search engines are actively paying attention more attention to feeds, so it is important to have your advertise your feed information.
Rick indicated that with Yahoo Pipes, once could create their own feed content to distribute from other feeds
Feedburner tracks clicks from your feed to your blog.
For the search engines, it is preferred that if you have 2 locations for the feeds, it is better to redirect the feed t o the original address.
Feeds were originally news sites, now they are podcasts, now retailers are using them to post changes and updates about their products.
When syndication the feed, it better to set the feed to read the full text for the engines.
It is also stressed to have links in your feed.
Most people that have websites do not know how to advertise their feeds. By putting in RSS auto discovery, users can more easy subscribe to your blog.
For podcasts, it is also good to add a description, not just the episode #.
Also add options for people to add to their list , i.e. Technorati, de.licio.us, digg, etc
Sally Falkow of Expansion Plus spoke of a client that sells a skin care product whose blog she helped optimized. It was a matter of recommendation, which was the #1 reason. She also suggested that company put Press Releases , newsletters and Articles in a blog format so that they can easily be developed into a feed.
Last but not least, Greg Jarobe of SEO-PR indicated that corporate blog typically have small audiences, so it important to pay attention to how people are viewing the blog.
For his case study, he talked about a website that had information about how fans could obtain tickets. The key was to have information and news that people could not find anywhere else.
Greg also stressed creating news stories and transforming them into blogs to boost visibility.
The main thing to consider when creating a blog is not only whether or not it is providing useful information, but also how the information can be found.