January 11, 2011

How Social Media has changed SEO

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 10:54 am

How Social Media has changed SEO

With Social Media having gone mainstream in the last two years, it has changed how I think about SEO. In the last year I’ve seen countless articles about how search engine optimization is dead or dying because of social media. SEO is not dead or dying, but there is a new model for it. SEO changes, and changes quickly, that’s one of the things I love about it.

SEO is no longer about keywords: If you are using meta keywords like you did 3 years ago, its time to dump them. Google and other search engines no longer rely on keywords to judge content. They are useful and should still be used but as sparingly as possible. Use keywords for targeted niche traffic on landing pages rather then site wide.

Linking is important but so is sharing: Search engines still rely on links to determine ranking. It’s important to have as many links as possible. The best way to build links is to link with someone that has more authority then you do in a related subject. Another way to build those links is by creating shareable content. Stop writing for search engines and write for people. The more people share the content the more you improve your ranking. Make sure you share the full url or use a url shortened like google. Only google indexes it’s links, which is key in social media link building.

The more you share, the more links you build: Simple concept really. The more you get a page or blog shared by Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon, the more links you build.

Optimize Social Media profiles for better sharing potential: Optimize your social media profiles so you can better build your audience organically. I’ve learned a lot about sharing content on social media. It’s not the size of your audience that matters, it’s how much interest they have in your content. This is where a lot of SEO’s fail in Social Media. You can have 10,000 followers on twitter, but if they don’t share your work, they don’t help you. Having an optimized profile helps build an audience that will share your work. This is the key to success in social media SEO .

Adding value to your site with SEO & Social Media: Making your website shareable is the best way to add value. Other ways you can add value include finding niche markets and optimizing for them. Niche marketing is an over looked commodity in SEO. You gain more exposure for your website by using niche marketing. Research is important, make sure it’s a searched for term.

SEO requires a lot of upkeep. Integrating social media is one way to make that easier. Building brand trust on social media platforms takes time. Invest in getting out and meeting people and building that trust.

SEO is not dead or dying, but continuously changing. My SEO model has changed to an SEO sharing model because of the tools that are available to me. I focus on content that is readable, and hopefully unique and shareable. Today’s search engine optimizers need to look at new ways of doing things to stay competitive.

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September 27, 2010

WordPress Setup

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 12:38 pm

WordPress Setup, SEO Optimized

Fresh install of WordPress? There’s a few key things you should do that can improve your blog and SEO. WordPress is already great for SEO, but these changes will help you grow. You don’t even need a fresh install to make these changes and improve your SEO.

Determine your site title.
This is important. Keep it under 65 characters. Name your site around what type of content you are providing. Try and use the website url in the title if possible.

Site URL / Permalinks
Its under Settings tab, Permalinks. Simple is best. Don’t leave it on default switch it to custom. I use /%postname%/ And I try to keep my post names short. E.G. http://wordpress/blog/wordpress-setup. You could also use tags, but postname is great for repeating it in H1 tags and descriptions.

Install redirection plugin
Redirection plug-in is a tool to help prevent site errors when you change a blog title or move things around. Its a good idea to install it when you start. Everyone makes mistakes typing, if you hit publish and then change the url later this plugin keeps things in order.

Install All in One SEO
Its a free plug-in. Here are the settings that you should use. At the very least you should change the post title format to reflect your site permalink changes.

All in one SEO Settings

Install Topsy or Tweetmeme
If possible put the re-tweet button at the top of the post. The key is to allow trackbacks. Trackbacks insert a comment in your blog post with a link. If someone re-tweets your work, you get a link each time on your blog.

Use a Tag Cloud Plugin.
Tag clouds add keywords & keyword density to your posts and blog. It also helps users find posts by keyword.

Social Bookmarking Puglins.
Include at least one social bookmarking plugin on your side bar. Each time you post save your post to the social bookmarking site you chose. This creates a type of RSS feeds, keywords, and links to older posts.

Create an XML sitemap
Plenty of free services out there to do this. I recommend Xml-Sitemaps. Install Google XML sitemaps generator plugin. Plugin Homepage. This plugin will auto update your site map each time you create a blog post. Site maps are important for communicating with search engines.

Use on page Tags & Categories.
If you look at my blog you will see post categories at the top. Post tags could also be used in the blog post. For this blog I use the tag cloud generator for that purpose. These tags add to your keyword density and allow people to find your posts in a search.

On using All in One SEO pack during blog post
Repeat your H1 title in the title of your post. Your Blog posts should have an h1 tag at the top of the post in addition to the regular url title tag. Keep the title under 65 characters. Use the H1 tag again in the description. The description should be under 156 characters. Use your brand name and main site title in the description as well. Luckily all in 1 seo pack has a character count field on blog post forms.

Things to remember when posting. Keep your titles short and simple to the point. Repeat your title in the H1 tag, all in one SEO title & description. Create strategic blog posts that include content related to these titles and descriptions. Don’t just write for search engines. Make it readable to the human eye. Making your posts scalable with highlighted information not only helps readers but search engines. Bolding key phrases are a good way of highlighting information.

Yoast.com offers a great resource for optimizing your WordPress blog. I suggest going there as well if you don’t have enough details from my post.

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September 20, 2010

Google Instant

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 2:42 pm

More on Google Instant

Google Instant is still a popular topic. The main areas of SEO it will affect are Long Tail Keywords and Keyword Research. Google instant changes the way people search for a website. It does this by trying to guess at what the person is searching for. Luckily this is a feature that the user can turn off if desired.

If I optimized this blog post using The Long Tail Keyword method, I would make the url something like “more-on-google-instant” or “using-long-tail-keywords-for-optimization”. With Google Instant, googles website will try and guess what you are searching for. Before you even type in the whole url it would likely produce “using long”. Here’s an example of what I mean:

One way you might fix this is to change the keyword order and shorten the title. “Google Instant” is now my title and “Google Instant More” my url. I would then use On Page Keywords & an optimized meta description to fully optimize this page.

Things to keep in mind. Google Likes H1 tags. I don’t think thats going to change much with Google Instant. An H1 tag is content. Optimize it with the keywords you want google to find. E.G. More on Google Instant. Include your H1 tag in the meta description.

Focus on On Page optimization. I’ve repeated Google Instant several times on this page. I have also strategically Bolded certain words or keywords. If you do choose to use meta keywords, keep it simple. With meta keywords less is definitely more.

Keep your permalinks short. The shorter the better. I’m already using Google Instant as a title on another blog post. If I wasn’t I would call this post strictly “google-instant”. I would then build the content around that subject.

Use two word targets. Like Google Instant as an example. If you subscribe to the meta keyword method you could use two word targets there as well. Don’t repeat meta keywords, repeat them in your on page optimization.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Write a blog post and test it out. Keep your post tile short, optimize your h1 and description tags, and then monitor the results. There’s always something new to learn with SEO. Learning how you can work around it is key to staying on top.

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