Blogging, Marketing & SEO • The Benefits of Blogging • Blog Software and Search-Friendliness • Marketing & Corporate Communication • Linking, Social Tagging & Viral Traffic • Brand & Identity Building • How to Create a Successful Blog • Selecting an Author & a Focus • The Blog Launching Process • Building a Passionate Audience • Examples of Successes & Pitfalls • Disney's Imagineering Blog, • The Stranger's “Slog” • Fake Blogs (Mazda, McDonald's, Coke) • Offending the Blogging Community Our blog: www.seomoz.org/blog.php
Benefits of Blogging • A personal voice • Direct feedback & communication • Search engine friendly publishing medium • Targets tech-savvy “connectors & mavens” Technorati – Growth of the Blogosphere60X growth in 3 Years, doubles in size every 6 months
Blog Software & Search Friendliness • Use of Friendly URLs • Easily Crawlable • Keyword use in URLs, title tags and Hx tags • Excellent “linkability” • Spread of anchor text and content via RSS, blog directories, etc.
Marketing & Corporate Communication • Creates a human “voice” inside the company • Builds brand loyalty and creates “buzz” around a product • Attracts valuable online connectors, mavens & salespeople • Lets passionate users connect to your company for feedback and participation
Linking, Social Tagging & Viral Traffic • Blogs are pre-disposed to getting links from other bloggers • Trackbacks, blog directories & RSS feeds all serve as link mechanisms • Viral “memes” - revolutionary ideas or projects can attract tens of thousands of links very quickly (aka linkbait) SEOmoz blog trafficMay 11th - Digg home page “Just make a great site, with great content... that's going to help you capture the mind of the blogosphere and that's really the best way to let search engines find out about you too." - Matt Cutts in an Interview with Mike Grehan
Brand & Identity Building • Blogs allow for a relatively unknown brand to build a high profile online • Blogs can help to change the image about a company by creating a forum where user voices are heard • Brand identity can be crafted and refined through the perception of blog readers and filtered for offline audiences Techcrunch – Unknown 18 months ago, now one of the biggest “brands” in the online tech sphere
How to Create a Successful Blog • Find a passionate blogger • Write in a “real” voice – don't use “PR” or “sales” speak • Approach topics that are fun, informative, vary in scope and drive interest Yahoo!'s Jeremy ZawodnyA “real” voice inside the company jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/
The Blog Launching Process DO DON'T Create fake comments Start with comments off Leave excessive trackbacks Be self-effacing & honest Bribe bloggers to link to you Launch with 3-6 posts Be overly defensive of your product, service or company Link to competitors Email friends, industry contacts Build relationships through forums, other blogs, communities and industry events
Building a Passionate Audience • Get creative in your blog posts – write about subjects that readers care about • Don't be afraid to be negative or stir up controversy, better to be loved and hated than simply mediocre • Recognize and call out your users – fame is intoxicating
Examples of Successes & Failures • Disney's Imagineering Blog – an incredible success • Real Disney designers, speaking with passion and without reservation • By siding with fans & criticizing the company, the team has re-created passion around their projects imagineerebirth.blogspot.com “There was a severe power shift at Walt Disney Imagineering in the early-90s, which completely changed the creative landscape. The best ideas no longer made it into the parks, and WDI fell victim to the kind of personal politics and rampant cronyism that is often associated with Hollywood studios,” reported SaveDisney.com in 2004. “Many talented Imagineers were laid off or put out to pasture, while finance executives were given the power to make creative decisions.”
Seattle's “The Stranger” Starts a Blog • Recognizing the threat of an online cultural voice, The Stranger created “Slog” • Coverage includes politics, pop culture, Seattle events and more • Thousands of daily readers and a massive influence on Seattle culture – music, restaurants, politics, etc. www.thestranger.com/slog/
Pitfalls – The “Fake Blog” • Blogs require an honest, real voice – these companies failed the test and turned off their readers • Bloggers are a savvy, investigatory group – they don't like to be manipulated • The lesson – don't blog unless you're prepared to go “off script” Fake Blog & “Viral” Video Fake “Lincoln Fry” Blog for Superbowl Fake blog on Coca-Cola “Zero”
Beware Offending the Blog Community • Bloggers are remarkably sensitive to manipulation, spam or intrusion • Lawsuits against bloggers typically hurt brands, don't succeed and create badwill (and bad SERPs) • Bloggers are loyal to one another and the communities /blogs they read – piss off one blogger, and an entire community can come after you.
More Information on SEO & Blogs • Beginner's Guide to SEOwww.seomoz.org/beginners.php • Search Engine Ranking Factorswww.seomoz.org/articles/search-engine-factors.php • SEOmoz Daily Blogwww.seomoz.org/blog.php • Get in Touch with Rand Directemail: firstname.lastname@example.org