On Saturday I participated on a SEO panel at the first Minneapolis TECHmunch food blogger conference put on by Babette Pepaj with the help of local foodies like Stephanie A. Meyer. As prep for the event, I outlined a few things that I thought food bloggers might find useful for helping to improve organic search traffic to their content. Of course these tips aren’t limited in their usefulness to food bloggers, they apply to anyone interested in creating awareness, attention, interest and engagement with themselves or their brand.
I will be giving a track keynote at BlogWorld this week on Thursday morning (9am) covering bigger picture topics and specific tactics to help attendees to better use blogs as content marketing tools. Here’s the presentation info:
Search, social media and content marketing are converging, and consumers are using numerous ways to discover, consume and act on content. In this session, you’ll learn how to use content marketing best practices to design information that inspires audiences to share, buy and recommend your brand.
1. Learn the framework for an optimize and socialize approach to content marketing
2. Understand the framework for optimizing across the customer lifecycle
3. Know the difference between KPIs and business outcomes for web and social measurement
But back to the TECHmunch presentation, here’s a few of the tips I shared using the old, “Dinner Party” metaphor:
Audience – Who’s coming to dinner?
What makes your blog unique and how does that satisfy a need for a particular audience? What do they care about? What are they searching for? What topics relevant to your blog do they talk about on the social web? Empathize with their information needs and language to anticipate topics that will be interesting and sharable.
Keywords – What do they like to eat?
Take your understanding of what your target audience cares about and translate it into search phrases and social topics. Develop a reference document or keyword glossary with scores for popularity and competitiveness to serve as guide for editorial and SEO. Keyword use on the blog as well as with social sites helps relevant search visibility. Use of popular and relevant social topics can inspire sharing and interaction.
Content Plan & SEO – Which ingredients?
Create an adaptable editorial calendar to outline topics, titles, descriptions, keywords, tags, media types, promotion channels and ways to repurpose content. Apply keyword glossary phrases in topic selection, post titles, post copy, file names and link text. Write title tags for search engines and on-page titles for readers and social shares. Think of the blog as a hub and build promotion channels as spokes around it. Create content that deserves to be the best answer to the questions your target audience are searching on or asking about on the social web. Make sure your blogging platform is configured as search and social media friendly using plugins such as AllinOneSEO and social sharing widgets like AddThis.
Links & Social – How will we invite our guests and help them spread the word?
Participate in and grow social networks daily. Tweet, RT, Plus, Pin, Like, Update and Comment where it makes sense to the audience you’re trying to reach. With your blog as the hub, many of your spokes will be social media and network websites that you can promote content to. Monitor mentions of your blog or keywords on social sites for interaction opportunities using social media monitoring services as simple as socialmention or Trackur or try these search queries replacing toprankblog.com with your own blog’s domain name:
Make it easy to share posts and inspire social sharing within the networks your active on. If you contribute content to other blogs or websites, always ask for an author link back to your website.
Tools – Which cookware, dinnerware?
Evaluate competitors rankings with SEMRush.com, Validate your blog with Google Webmaster tools, Manage your SEO efforts with Raven Tools, Research keywords with Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Research social topics with socialmention.com or Radian6, Measure blog content performance with Google Analytics, Monitor inbound links with Majestic SEO. Leverage a social media management platform like HootSuite to organize, schedule and publish social content.
For more good resources on optimizing your blog for better performance on the search and social web, check out Google’s new Webmaster Academy and of course if you want a deep dive, get a copy of Optimize.