Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SEO For Bloggers #5 of 6: Offsite SEO and Social Media

Before I get in to the SEO for bloggers article, which is below, I wanted to mention a few things about Business Social Networking. What’s so interesting is that i’s at the intersection of B2B and social networking. So I was doing some research on the keyword Business Social Networking, and out pops this article below from 2005. 966001_frangipani-from-sxchu-photo-blog.jpg The year of the start of Social Networking, with the screaming entrance of MySpace and Facebook making headlines, but most importantly YouTube.com. The article below talks about a site 43things.com, which I had known for a while, but had no Idea that it was heavily invested or owned by Amazon.com. Read the article if you need to but, business social networking is finally making a big leap towards businesses from the hype only social media aspect.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Social networking: A link to like minds

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I can’t wait to finish the series on SEO for bloggers, it’s keeping me from writing original content. So below is the article from our previous blogging coach. Yes, we are still working on our b2b and business social networking site, it’s getting closer, but running in to some design issues at the moment. The best part is that the business social networking technical features are all done, it’s just about the design at the moment enjoy the article below:

June 27th, 2007 at 10:01 pm by Bc in Social Media Networks, Link Building, SEO for Bloggers, Blogging Techniques

So we’ve established the search engines love sites with tons of incoming links, and we’ve talked about a few different ways to earn them. 953797_asientos_fromsxchu-photo-blog.jpg However, I have yet to mention a major source of traffic - the social media sites. Granted, using the social media networks as a source of links isn’t typically considered part of SEO, but they can be very useful when used properly.

How to Play the Social Media Game:

Social media can be defined as the online technologies and practices people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives (thanks wikipedia!). Although social media is generally used as an umbrella term that encompasses everything from YouTube to Second Life, bloggers can utilize content-sharing sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, and Stumble Upon and social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Linked In.* Here is a preview of our Business Social Network below: latestlayoutinjpeg.jpg

First of all, syndicate your blog content on all the social media networks that you have profiles on, as well as any directories that index content related to your niche. You don’t have to reprint entire posts, rather, just copy the first few sentences - use it like a teaser or preview, and then be sure to link to it with “read more” or “continue”. After all, if someone is comes across your profile on any social media site, they’d probably be interested in your blog too. Be sure to get some of your keywords in the in the “teaser” part, however, so you’re playing to the search engines as well as the readers.

Second, become an active participant in social content sites like Digg, along with popular forums in your niche. You have to give some to get some, after all, and by reading and interacting on these, you’ll learn what kind of content is well received. Over all, however, it pays to be bold, to show off your passions, and to create content that has value for your users. This is where link baiting (in the altruistic “creating compelling content” sense) can really pay off.

Note: when you’re submitting posts to the social media networks, aim for “scannable” content - easily digestible article with bulleted or numbered lists, headings and subheadings, and charts and graphs. Reading on the web is not the same as reading a book - most people tend to just scan over things and pick up the main ideas.

Viral Ideas and Blogging

Viral marketing and viral content are major buzzwords these days, and for good reason. An idea, a post, a website, or an application can go viral and get thousands of links and millions of hits in a matter of hours. Of course, these can be shallow hits and non-targeted traffic, but the viral marketers do have a point - people spread ideas and share content that’s easily understandable, benefits the user in some way (even if it’s only to make them smile - look at how quickly things like lolcats get around), and neatly packaged (perhaps in the form of a concise, well-written blog post).

*This is by no means an exhaustive list, and it may take some research and trial and error to figure what communities are best suited to your purposes.

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