Lee Odden

New Tools for Social Media Optimization

With all the buzz about social media optimization the past week, I thought it would be timely for us to present two updated tools for encouraging the sharing of and linking to content as well as distribution. These are concepts that are fundamental to the notion of social media optimization or SMO.

Screen Shot of 2 New Social Media Optimization Tools

The first tool is one we’ve received excellent comments on and it’s called the Social Bookmark Creator. In order to make it easy for readers to save a blog post or a web page for reading later or to aggregate resources using a social bookmark service, we’ve created a tool that allows you to add a social bookmark menu after each post or on a static web page.

Social Bookmarks

Lee Odden

Blog Optimization – SES San Jose

SES San Jose
Moderated by Detlev Johnson of Position Tech, this panel included: Stephan Spencer of NetConcepts, Rick Klau of FeedBurner and Amanda Watlington of Searching for Profit.

First up was Amanda with yet again, a unique presentation. There is still lots of unclaimed territory with blogs.

Less than 6% of Fortune 500 companies are blogging according to SocialText. 35% of companies plan to start a blog in the next year.

RSS distributes content and drives traffic.

Build your feeds right from the start. Questions to ask:
– How many feeds are necessary
– How much content is needed to keep it fresh
– Should you publish an excerpt or the full feed
– Will the feed include other media
– How will you propagate the feeds initially and on an ongoing basis
– How to measure performance

Lee Odden

Blogs and Podcasts for Lead Generation

Marketing Sherpa released findings of a Technology Marketing survey that include blogs and podcasts as two of the top 5 lead generation tactics for technology, hardware and software firms. Overall, the top 5 lead generation tactics were:

  1. Free Trials
  2. Webcast
  3. White paper
  4. Blog
  5. Podcast

Of course, if you’re a really good marketer, you would be able to tie in four or five of the above into one campaign, especially when integrated with a blog. Not that you need to offer all five to have a successful campaign, but providing options for how to interact or make contact with your company allows you to reach more of your target audience. A podcast may work for some people, a free trial or a white paper for others. One of the new features of this report is the 13 prospect personas of prospects such as CIOs, IT professionals and business owners.

Lee Odden

Dave Sifry on Marketing Your Blog

Wired recently ran another “How To” with this one including sage advice from Technorati founder, Dave Sifry on how to make your blog more popular:

1) React quickly. (Nothing is more fun than calling an A lister on hype or fluff)
2) Make your posts easy to read. (Usability never goes out of style)
3) Link, link, link! (Amen – link in and link out)
4) Optimize for search engines. (Get some tasty blog optimization)
5) Post, post, post! (Yes and no – It’s just not always practical to post 5 – 10 times a day)
There are also several tips on sprucing up your MySpace site, Amazon Picks and reblogging. Check it out.

Lee Odden

RSS Buttons for Your Blog

A while back Thomas aka Twistermc, whipped up a handy tool for creating RSS subscription buttons to place on blogs. This makes it easy for the reader to subscribe to the blog using their favoriate RSS reader or aggregator. (See the buttons down the left side of this blog) This particular tool has been very popular and is the source for many, many links to Online Marketing Blog and to the blog marketing tools page over at TopRank.

I was checking out some of these links and noticed that some pretty interesting referrers. There are quite a few prominent SEOs using the RSS Button tools. I think that’s pretty cool actually.

Lee Odden

Blog Address: Directory or Domain?

Recently I fielded an emailed question from a reader as to which is better home for a blog: as part of the company web site (www.company.com/blog/) or as a separate domain (www.companyblog.com)? I get this question often and see it mentioned in the forums as well.

There are many factors that influence whether your blog should be part of your site or it’s own domain name including:

  • Branding
  • Hosting platform
  • Blog application (software or hosted)
  • Resources for promotion
  • Resources for content production
  • Purpose of the blog
  • Timeframe for expected results
  • Target audience
Lee Odden

25 Tips for Marketing Your Blog

With so many blogs being created every day, it’s a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them.Some companies choose to hire a blog consultant, but others like to try things internally. For those “DIY” companies and individuals interested in practical tips for marketing and optimizing a business blog, try out the following list of blog marketing and optimization tips:

  1. Decide on a stand alone domain name www.myblog.com or directory of existing site www.mysite.com/blog. Sub domain is also an option blog.mysite.com. Avoid hosted services that do not allow you to use your own domain name!
Lee Odden

Podcast Interview on SEO and Press Releases

Last week I had two interviews on SEO, blogs and press release optimization. One was a podcast and the other published in a newsletter. You can find the podcast interview over at the Novita Issue Communications Blog where Ernie Landante keeps me honest and runs through questions on the synergy of search engine optimization and public relations as well as some of the mechanics of the press release optimization process. At least until I started making death threats. 🙂

The good people over at Web Certain have started a new “Ask the Experts” feature for their newsletter and in a brave move, decided to do an interview on SEO and blog marketing with yours truly. Topics range from Google dominance to how clueless most corporate executives are about blogging.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Defining Tagging

This is a re-post, with minor edits, from my blog, Blog on a Stick. I felt that it was worthy of posting here too.
-Thanks Thomas

For those that are just jumping into the blog world, or the Web 2.0 world for that matter, there is a new idea out there called tagging. Much like folders or categories, it’s a way of keeping things organized.

Lets start out simple with folders.

On your computer you have folders. Maybe a documents folder for paperwork, pictures folder for pictures and so on. You’ve probably even created your own folders. “Christmas 2005” or “Work Documents” The idea is to keep your files organized on your hard drive. Simple enough.

Lee Odden

Blogs for SEO

In the past I’ve written tips about marketing business blogs with an emphasis on content, frequency and distribution. Just like with optimizing web sites for better search engine rankings, there’s an abundance of information and tips on how to use blogs for business.

As far as business blogs go, the two implementations that I see most often are blogs as a component of SEO or blogs as a public relations tool. Granted, this bias is a manifestation of the focus of my company’s blog consulting practice, but I think the insight into what’s been working can benefit any type of blog.

Lee Odden

Link Building for Blogs

As blogs continue to mature as marketing tools, there are an increasing number of “blog optimization” articles and posts appearing. However, many of these resources underestimate the importance of inbound links.

To think that researching and placing keywords in the “right places” alone with improve a blog’s traffic is only part of the story. Blogs are simply web sites/content management systems with some special features. Getting web sites to rank well and to engage more traffic involves a large number of variables and the same goes for blogs. The difference is that there are unique linking opportunities with blogs that are not common with web sites. These include:

  • Trackbacks
  • Comments
  • Social book marks
  • Tagging
  • Blogrolls
  • Guest writing on other blogs
  • Blog, RSS directories
Lee Odden

Conversation with Experts – SEO

I’ve managed to get myself into another interesting speaking situation. Last week it was both Pubcon and Bulldog Reporter. This week it’s a chat over at “Conversations with Experts”, with Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakemen of Build a Better Blog System. I’ll be talking about search engine optimization for small and medium businesses with some blogs and press release optimization thrown in for good measure.

Here’s the “official” description:

Search Engine Optimization with Blogs and Press Releases
Gone are the days of optimizing web sites through a sprinkling of keywords and submissions to the search engines. Today’s savvy marketer integrates a mix of tactics to gain the credibility and authority necessary for dominant search engine rankings.