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Optimize & Socialize for Better Business Blogging

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Blogs are one of the most trusted forms of content for recommendations on the web and brands can improve reach and engagement by optimizing and socializing for customers. ...

Blogs are one of the most trusted forms of content for recommendations on the web and brands can improve reach and engagement by optimizing and socializing for customers.

This presentation outlines key strategies and tactics for companies to incorporate social media optimization and SEO to create more customer centric content that readers are inspired to share and link to.

Presentation by Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing.

More in: Business , Technology
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  • Presentation from BlogWorld LA 2011 – Lee Odden @leeodden CEO of TopRank Online Marketing http://www.toprankmarketing.comOptimize and Socialize Your Way to Better Business BloggingLee Odden Blogs are often rated one of the top content marketing tactics (http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/06/content-marketing-definition-tactics/) for attracting and engaging customers but most companies fail to combine two of the most important tools for boosting traffic and reach: Optimization for search engines and for social media.  Most marketers and business bloggers understand the notion of search engine optimization but often focus more on keywords than the customers that are actually searching. Adding keywords to blog posts is a common SEO tactic but developing a blog content plan around both search keywords and social topics can result in content that is inherently search and social media friendly.  The Business of Optimizing Social MediaSocial Media Optimization (http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/03/integrated-seo-social-media/) involves optimizing social content for topics of interest to both the brand and the communities they seek to engage. SMO also focuses on the ability for social communities to share links and media they find interesting. Links to content shared on social networks and media sites can drive direct traffic to blog content and serve as a signal that search engines use for ranking blog web pages.  Essentially, socialized and optimized blog content can drive traffic through search and those visitors can share that content through social channels, driving even more traffic. Social sharing can also impact better search visibility, providing more relevant visitors that are actively looking.  Search and Social Media FriendlyAs Internet marketers have emphasized making websites search engine friendly over the past 10 years, the importance of making websites and blogs social media friendly (http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/06/is-your-web-site-seo-and-social-media-friendly/) is also important. Great blog content isn’t really great until it’s consumed and shared, so consider how your customers find information online that is most likely to inspire them to do what you want them to do.  A Better Business Blog StrategyTo get more out of the opportunity to improve online discovery of business blog content, here are a few key questions to ask for an “Optimize and Socialize” blog strategy: Who is the blog intended to influence? Prospects, customers, employees, industry analysts, reporters, bloggers.What content will your blog offer that will meet target audience needs?How will addressing those customer needs and telling the brand story manifest as a blog content plan?What search keywords and social topics are relevant to your target audience?Where does your blog content fit in the customer lifecycle of communication with the brand?If the blog content is properly optimized and socialized, how will it influence (directly or indirectly) measurable business outcomes? Interest In Your Blog Is Related to Your Blog’s Interest in ReadersOne of the reasons business blogs fail as being optimized and socialized, is that their content tends to be very brand-centric. Most business blog posts talk about the brand, it’s products and services without a lot of consideration for customer perspectives and language.  A self-centered business blogging approach tends to push ideas out, hoping to get a reaction in the form of search engine rankings, fans, friends and followers. Many SEO centric blogs share these characteristics.  The problem with a mostly brand content focus is that there usually isn’t as much sharing, engagement or direct influence on business outcomes because the content is all about the brand, vs. empathizing with customers and the language customers use.  To Be Great, Your Business Blog Must ParticipateConversely, a search and social optimized business blog develops and participates in social communities online, offline, internally and externally. To do that, blog editors need to figure out where the great ideas and stories are (http://www.toprankblog.com/2011/10/blog-content-questions/) in the company.  All this said, it's not enough simply to have an optimized and socialized blog content plan that aligns brand solutions and ideas with those of your target audience. To tap into a high quality stream of customer-centric blog content ideas, it's essential to engage relevant social communities. Ask them questions, crowdsource content ideas, give those who participate recognition and repeat.   By shining a light on the awesome within your community, you’ll provide the fuel of positive reinforcement to motivate fans and customers to partake in both content creation and promotion. Walk the talk by telling your brand stories and those of your community. Lead by example and your community will start to tell your stories for you. And so will their friends, and their friends' friends. That’s the benefit of optimizing beyond search to include social media, networks and communities.  
  • Lee Odden is CEO of TopRank Online Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog: Rated the #1 content marketing blog by Junta42 and a top 10 blog by Advertising Age.  A 14-year online marketing veteran, Lee has been cited by numerous industry publications and books including The Economist, DM News and ‘Marketing in the Age of Google’ by Vanessa Fox.  Lee speaks internationally on Social Media SEO and Content Marketing for top conferences including ad:tech, Intel’s Social Media Summit and SES, where he serves on the board of advisors. His first book, ‘Optimize’ will be published by Wiley in 2012.
  • As marketers gear up for the fourth quarter, the busiest time on their marketing calendars, nearly two-thirds (63.4%) say they are planning to increase focus on social media over the next 12 months, while nearly one-half plan to increase focus on email (45.5%) and content marketing (45.3%), according to a new survey from Bizo.Moreover, among those who conduct social marketing, most (97%) say social media is now more or equally important to the marketing mix than it was in the previous year.http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2011/5786/brands-betting-big-on-social-email-content-marketing?adref=nl082511
  • What happens in 60 seconds on the internet?
  • http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/1/Global_Search_Market_Grows_46_Percent_in_200970% of brands social media content (FB or Twitter) doesn’t rank in top 20 on Google for brand namehttp://www.brightedge.com/2011-04-18-brightedge-study-social-media-seo-optimization
  • It can be very frustrating for bloggers to consider the challenges of standing out amongst all the noise and information overload.
  • Luckily, there are three areas you can optimize for a more strategic and holistic approach to successful internet marketing and business blogging:Optimize for Discovery – How does your target audience prefer to find information? Search, Social, Email, Advertising, Word of MouthOptimize for Consumption – What content formats and media types does your community prefer?Optimize for Engagement – What messages, topics and contexts motivate your community to interact, share and convert?
  • framework for content marketing strategy and practical optimization and social media marketing tips to grow business online.
  • Social SEO & Blogging Trends
  • More social shares = search trafficOverlay competitor ranking w/ social sharesCreate a content plan for shareablilityMeasure shares, search trafficIdentify growth & scale it upWhich types of social shares have most impact?
  • Plan your way into an infinite number of compelling and relevant content ideas that boost search traffic & engage reader)
  • Plan your way into an infinite number of compelling and relevant content ideas that boost search traffic & engage reader)

Transcript

  • 1. Optimize & Socializefor Better Business Blogging @LeeOdden TopRankBlog.com TopRankMarketing.com optimizebook.com Presented at #BWELA
  • 2. @toprank@TopRank: Search Social Content Clients Speaking Media
  • 3. @toprank Agenda Cycle of Continuous Improvement Blog Strategy: Social SEO Centric Framework for Infinite Content Ideas Blog Promotion
  • 4. Brands Are Betting Big on Social Via MarketingProfs 63% - Social 45% - Email 45% - Content 43% - SEM 36% - Video
  • 5. Social Rises, Search Dominates Interactive: $76.6 Billion by 2016 43% is Search Marketing
  • 6. Search & Social Impact on Sales 1% Social Alone 51% Search Alone 48% Search & Social
  • 7. “Optimize”What does it really mean?op·ti·mize/ˈ äptəˈmīz /Make the best or most effective use of (asituation, opportunity, or resource).Rearrange or rewrite (data) to improveefficiency of retrieval or processing.
  • 8. WhyOptimize?
  • 9. Google.com handles 11 billion searches per month worldwide Source: comScoreAt any given time thereare 50-200 differentversions of Google’s corealgorithm in the wild*Google Inside Search 70% of Brands Social Content Doesn’t Rank Top 20 for Brand Names *Brightedge SMO Study 04/11
  • 10. @toprank3 Key “Optimize” Opportunities1. Discovery2. Consumption3. Engagement
  • 11. My Top Blog #FailsI had no:Plan or StrategyTarget AudienceVoiceCross PromotionEngagementHelpWhat Did I Have?Keywords!
  • 12. But Then I Wised UpGoalsAudiencePlanFeedback &Improvement
  • 13. Optimize For Customers & Outcomes
  • 14. @toprank Holistic SEO: Impact Public Human Customer Marketing Relations Resources Service Content Prospect Journalist Candidate CustomerTraffic Media Sale Coverage New Staff Serviced
  • 15. @toprank CMO & SMO Framework Research Keywords Content Optimize, Customer Topics & Promo Socialize & Segments Message Plan PromotePreferences Search & Topics, SEO Social & SEOPain Points Social Data Calendar, Networking,Behaviors Sources Repurpose Link Building
  • 16. @toprankWhere Are We Now? 26,530 Unique Keywords 46,000+ RSS Subscribers 100k+ inbound links Attracts: Media & Links, Employees, World-Wide Speaking & +New Business
  • 17. How? Cycle of Continuous Improvement Hypothesis Refine & Collect Repeat Data Approach Measure & Deploy
  • 18. For Example Social Shares = SearchScale & CompetitorRefine Data Content Measure Plan
  • 19. MeasurementSocial KPIs Search KPIs Business Outcomes- Shares - Links - Media Placements- Comments - SERP Visibility - Blogger Mentions- Links - Search Traffic - Inquiries- Citations - Keyword - Conversions- Connections Performance - Rates- Traffic - Frequency - Net ResultsToolsSocial Media MonitoringWeb AnalyticsSocial Media Marketing Management
  • 20. It’s a journey, not a destination.
  • 21. Key Questions for Blog Strategy Who is your audience and what do they care about?
  • 22. Key Questions for Blog StrategyWhat does your company have to offer to meet peoples needs?
  • 23. Key Questions for Blog Strategy How do customer needs and brand solutions manifest as a content plan?
  • 24. Key Questions for Blog StrategyWhat are search keywords and social topics are relevant to your target audience?
  • 25. Key Questions for Blog Strategy Where does your blog content fit in thecustomer lifecycle of communication with the brand?
  • 26. What ifWe RunOut ofBloggingIdeas?
  • 27. Tweetable Quote:“Most people have a finitenumber of ideas. If youonly blog about yourself,it’s a certainty you’ll runout.”
  • 28. Ego-Centric Biz Blogging BlogMany business blogs fail toempathize with their readers.
  • 29. Its not enough to have a blogcontent plan that aligns brandsolutions and ideas with those ofyour target audience.
  • 30. Grow Networks & Participate Topic B Topic C BlogTopic A Topic D Topic E
  • 31. Ask questions. Give recognition.Repeat.Shine a light on the awesomewithin your community. Good enough to Tweet! @toprank
  • 32. Walk the talk by telling your brandstories and those of your community.Lead by example and your communitywill start to tell your stories for you. If you like it, share it! @toprank
  • 33. More Tweetable6 Content Tips: Tips! @toprank1. Engage with your community and ideas will come out of that dialog2. Ask for topics!3. Look at popular questions on Quroa, Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Q/A4. Mine web analytics data: referring search keywords, questions that drive traffic5. Look at your internal search engine: logged queries.6. Find out what front line staff (sales, customer service) are being asked most often.
  • 34. BlogPromotion
  • 35. @toprank Blog SEOWhere to use keywords:• Post titles• Categories• Body copy• Lists• Anchor text links• Tags• Image alt text
  • 36. @toprankDevelop Off-Site Content & Networks Profiles Industry Blog Publications
  • 37. @toprank Content & Media Mix Web Page Web Page Keyword Glossary Web Page • Keyword 1 • Keyword 2 Blog Posts • Keyword 3 Infographics Images Press Release VideosContributedArticles Guest Blog Posts PPTIndustryMedia PDF
  • 38. @toprank Social Cross Promotion Slideshare News Sources Blog Off site Comments TR WebsiteFacebook Twitter LinkedIn Paper.li Delicious YouTube
  • 39. A very5 Promotion tips: bloggable side!1. Automate some promotion of every post: Ex Twitter, Facebook, RSS2. Pitch your network and influentials to share3. Include your community or influentials in content creation - they will help promote4. Social shares drive traffic AND provide signals to search engines. Twitter, FB, Google+5. Do back link analysis from time to time with majesticseo.com to see where competitors are getting their links. Go after them yourself.
  • 40. @toprank The Takeaway Slide1 Optimize for people & outcomes: What do they care about & how can you inspire action?2 Optimize for search: What can be searched can be optimized for better performance.3 Optimize for share: Create, participate and engage a growing network to motivate scaled sharing.
  • 41. Thank YouLee Oddenlee@toprank.org@leeoddenTopRankMarketing.comTopRankBlog.com OptimizeBook.com Get the Book – Get Optimized! Wiley - 2012