SEO Alternatives To Guest Blogging

As Summit Online Marketing and running the SEO Liverpool blog, we get numerous requests to guest blog. I’m not adverse to this, but sometime you simply can’t make the time.

We always stress to our clients the value of guest blogging and gaining reciprocal links for contributors, but I thought we’d give you another way to get bloggers onside.

Blogger Events

How

Hold an event for influential bloggers you’ve either found on twitter via followerwonk or those you’ve previously identified. If your website is about fashion, then it’s simple. If you’re trying to get content for an accountancy practice, then you’d need to pick a theme. e.g. Starting your business and financial forecasting or new business start up guide in 10 easy steps.

Note: It’s important to get a couple of details right, such as an appropriate time and the venue to meet.

You need to get the word out, choose an appropriate medium to inform your prospective bloggers and get them to spread the word to the community.

Whats the Offer

You need an appropriate offer for the prospective bloggers audience. Discounts, free space, promo-code, a gift, or a draw with a valuable prize … whatever! If it’s a seminar the accountancy company is running for small businesses, grant them free entry. Offer your bloggers free infographics to add to their posts or at least some stock images.

You can offer the bloggers a discount just for mentioning your businesses name, but the readers will need something else to sweeten the deal. You’ve added creditability and drawn in a bigger audience using the bloggers, but what does the prospective customer get out of it. It’s not the bloggers or our responsibility to sign up clients, it’s all about harvesting data, get social links from readers or simply generate a ‘buzz’ about the event

Seminars

If you’re an accountancy firm, and you want new self employed clients, the blogging will serve to promote the event. Give each blogger an individual product code and link to event invitation in the post.

From this you can monitor which blogger brought the most people and reward them appropriately.

The seminar needs to benefit the prospective clients, give away lots of good free information.

Tip At the presentation, you can offer them more free business tips if they friend your business on FaceBook or Google +

Regular Contact.

You should have blog posts written promoting your event, you’ll get bums on seats or at least email data from prospects requesting information… but that shouldn’t be the end of it. It is always good practice to keep in touch with those bloggers and offer little gifts or at least invite them round for a few free drinks.

Try it

 

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Blog Case Studies

I remember reading a fair few months ago, according to Technorati;
100,000,000 + blogs have less than 20 in-bound links.
400,000 blogs have more than 20,000 in-bound links.
The top 2,500 bloggers have greater than 100,000 in-bound links.

Maybe I’m naive, this illustrates to me that reaching the top isn’t a monumental task.

Blogs on their own can do very well as a marketing tool. When optimised, socialised, and linked out to other blogs, they’re phenomenal. Basically, if you can optimise content that’s relevant, a good read and adds value, then you’ll get promoted.

Blog Case Study 1: Our Online Marketing Consulting

A senior citizens housing developer. Worked with the developer on a consultancy basis. Strategy was to create a communication channel to target a market that’s less formal than on the corporate website.

Tactically – upgraded the blog, optimised it according to our advice, and reach out to other bloggers in their space. Within a few months, became a top source of traffic to site: rankings went up, visitors increased. Very nominal effort with very tangible results.

Blog Case Study 2: Large SEO Investment

A book and game retailer wanted to generate sales. Many in the buying space are passionate about games and brain teasers. We wanted to create a place for people to play games.

Tactic – created an SEO’d blog, created communities on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Stumbleupon. We mined Twitter data to find out what people are talking about and to friend people based on this research. Result – great top 3 rankings for target keywords.

Did a social promotion for an old style carnival game. Created a flash version, and promoted that via social media.

Results – Many wrote about this game and we create a big spike. There was another spike as a latent effect, people started searching for the game. Traffic and page-views quintupled! Now the blog sell ads in addition to products and generates a very good revenue stream.

Blog Case Study 3: Small Business SEO

An Online Marketing Blog. Strategy – Increase thought leadership – cover tips, thoughts, news and the SEM basics. Goal – Eventually to generate leads. Tactic – create unique content on a regular schedule via relevant SEM subjects, agency insights, etc.

What happened over time? Generated No.1 Keywords, regular readership and brand awareness.

Next Step – Make the blog into a conversion tool for consultancy and create advertising revenue.

Still a slow burner as budget and time are limited, but has great potential and a very important digital asset.

Key takeaways:

Goals drive content. Automate SEO as much as possible – Socialise – Measure – Refine – Repeat. Make sure you focus on end objectives.

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SEO Through Blogs

Not yet running a blog? Then you’re missing out on an important area that can help your overall SEO efforts. You guys really need to learn more about the unique advantages blogs and feeds offer to search engine optimisation.

Blogs, SEO, and marketing. Blogs should not be just part of an SEO play. They’re a real part of the marketing program. Importantly, they create alternative keyword media. Not just the ones you are chasing, but an opportunity to find new keywords. Allows you to extend the reach of your web communication – its marketing and SEO. Building a community deepens SEO relations. Build business or brand – connect with consumers particularly with products that address a particular issue. Any kind of marketer can enjoy the benefits of Blogs.

Lets get tactical! Things you need to think about “before” you launch. Will it be an official blog? Or a personal blog? Will it sit on a subdomain on the company’s website, or sit on its own and take on a new life. The look and feel – will it before personal, or company branded? Will it be a multi-blogger platform or a lone blogger platform? At Summit Online Marketing we’re very pro multi-person blogs.

Will it sit on WordPress or open source Drupal type platform? There are very good arguments on behalf of each.

The optimisation process – four key steps:

* Customise and optimise the CMS.
* Customise and optimise the RSS feeds.
* Conduct and apply keyword / tag research.
* Socialise the blog and create a community.

Important points

* Tweaking CSS.
* Title tag optimisation.
* Permalinks that show real titles, not the text “permalink”.
* Use a robots.txt.
* Use favicons.
* Sitemaps.
* Widgets/blidgets… stands for “blog widgets” – can be useful.
* Validate, tweak, and stay put.

Use the blog plugins! Every blog CMS has plugins for every activity – sitemaps, 301 redirecting, etc. Then – optimise the feeds. Will there be enough content to populate feed? Don’t want reader to unsubscribe. Here at SEO liverpool we like full text feeds. Increase items in feed from default 10 to 20 if the blog has frequent posts. Decide how to handle multimedia – if you have audio or video. Manage feeds with Feedburner (personal recommendation).

Tips:

* Optimise the RSS feed – use keywords in feed in title tag, less than 100 characters.
* Most readers display feeds alphabetically – helps to be an A or B.
* Write description as if for a directory.
* Use full paths on links and unique URLs.
* Provide email updates.

Process for content production.

1. Write post.
2. Review keyword research list.
3. Include a keyword in the headline.
4. Review the body of the post.

Make socialisation easy for people with buttons. Cross link your blog and website aggressively. Notify other bloggers via comments and emails. Join the blog community.

How to keep your momentum

* Develop a mindset that this is a long term, continuous effort.
* Build a battle plan to maintain quality of blog.
* Use Google Analytics (personal preference) to guide editorial choices.
* Post original material often.
* Weed out comment spam.
* Keep blog fresh.
* Build ‘blidgets’ for social media to drive traffic back to blog.

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