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SEO Blog Tips: Turn Emails into Search Engine Visibility


Speakers: Rich Brooks
Session: How to Dominate Google & Bing with Your Blog
Date: Wednesday, May 25
Time: 9:00AM
Location: Jacob Javits Center 1A07

“I don’t know what to blog about” and “how can I blog for SEO?” are two blogging concerns that I hear all the time from people. Luckily, there’s a simple trick I use that can help address both issues.

First thing to keep in mind: you are an expert at what you do. You have forgotten more than most people will ever know about growing plants or raising kids or building a business.

Chances are that when you’re in front of a customer or prospect, they are asking some of the same questions time and again. Even more may be emailing you those questions.

Well, if you’re fielding all those questions, how many more people are asking the same questions at Google?

  • How do I tie a Windsor knot?
  • What are some simple stir fry recipes?
  • How do I survive a zombie apocalypse?

When you receive the next email asking for advice or help, don’t respond. Not immediately, at least.

Copy the question and paste it into your blog. You may need to broaden the question to make it more helpful to more people and remove any reference to whomever sent you the email in the first place. (They may not be completely comfortable that you put their name at the bottom of a question about how to buy a toupee.)

Once you’ve got the question, go ahead and answer it in the most helpful, non-salesy way possible. As appropriate you can create keyword-rich links to a page on your website that offers a solution to the person’s need. Answering a question on reducing turnover? Link to the page on employee recognition gifts.

When you’re all done, create a keyword-rich title for your post. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Create a shortened version of the question: What are good fruits for making baby food?
  • Phrase it as a how-to: How to Take Better iPhone Photos
  • Frame it as a tips post: Fashion Tips for the Color Blind

After you publish it, go back to the person who first emailed you and tell them that it was such a great question you turned it into a blog post. I’ve never had anyone get upset with this, and almost everyone has been psyched to see their question get posted to my blog, even if I renamed them “Puzzled in Portland.”

In conclusion:

  • Use emailed questions as blog fodder for “long-tail” searches.
  • Increase your visibility by using appropriate keywords in your titles and posts.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a Web design and Internet marketing firm in Portland, Maine. His monthly flyte log email newsletter and web marketing blog focus on search engine optimization, blogs, social media, email marketing, and building websites that sell. He is currently an Expert Blogger at FastCompany.com and a regular contributor at SocialMediaExaminer.com.

He is a co-founder of Social Media FTW, an organization putting on conferences and events to educate small businesses and non-profits about the power of social media marketing.

He is a nationally recognized speaker on blogging, internet marketing and social media. He is the “tech guru” on WCSH Channel 6’s evening news show, 207, and teaches Web marketing and social media courses for entrepreneurs at the University of Southern Maine’s Center for Continuing Education.

Site Search from a Publisher’s Point of View


I recently had the chat with Lijit, an exhibitor at BlogWorld 2010 and a company that allows you to easily create your own search engine that encompasses your blog, bookmarks, photos, blogroll, and more! Lijit gave us an idea of the benefits of search and how their company differs from other search tools.

What are the benefits of site search?
When you first think about site search it may not seem all that interesting and that’s simply because most site owners and publishers think of their site search as a reader-side value proposition.  Basically, readers want to find content on my site and a search box allows them to do so – that much is obvious.  At Lijit we think that from a publisher’s point of view, search is arguably the most interactive component of your site.  It captures the specific and refined intent of your readership.  No other application, widget, or add-on has quite the same level of condensed and refined analysis of your content. 

How is Lijit different than other search tools?
Lijit is the only company that places the publisher in the center of their universe by helping them develop a true understanding of what their readership wants. When a publisher creates a Lijit account and begins building their very own custom search engine, we scour and index their site as well as the rest of their social content (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) and affiliated sites (e.g. blogroll). All that content is rolled into a publisher’s custom search application. This helps them expose all of their online content (not just their site) to increase reader engagement and time on-site while reducing bounce rates. We provide detailed statistics on what readers are searching for and finding or even not finding! We do this completely free for publishers of all sizes.? 

If it’s all free, what is your business model?
We see incredible amounts of reader intent data through the tens of thousands of search engines we’ve built for publishers.  The same data we give back to our publishers is aggregated into categories and segments that are used to sell premium brand advertisers display ad campaigns.  Publishers in the Lijit network can apply to our ad platform, set a CPM threshold price, and install ad tags within minutes.  We then serve premium ads on their sites based on the intent data from millions of unique readers. Publishers in the Lijit network that want to make money can do so and those that don’t can still run their Lijit-built search engine with no obligation to run our ad platform. 

To download Lijit’s free custom search tool, visit: http://www.lijit.com/signup/start

Have you used Lijit? What are your thoughts?? ??

The Importance of Pages Per Visit & Tips For Improving Your PPV


Readers come and readers go, but do you ever take a look at your pages per visit? That handy information is available in most analytics software and documents the average number of pages per visit to your site before someone heads off elsewhere in search of different content.

Business Model:
For most blogs, your goal is to obtain readership, build a community, and perhaps make a buck or two. If that’s the case, you want to have a high PPV. However, there are some business models that prefer a lower PPV – a customer service organization perhaps (they’re hoping you find your information quickly and get back to using their product!)

Importance of Pages Per Visit:

Your PPV tells you whether your content is compelling enough to stick around and how easy it is to navigate your website. The average blog pages per visit is said to be <2 (for reference), but it never hurts to try to rise above this. How to Increase Your Pages Per Visit:
Because the PPV number is directly related to navigation – your navigational elements need to be extremely clear and concise. If a reader can’t follow your category structure, they’re bound to bounce out after reading the one page they landed on. Here are some other ways to keep someone on your site:

  • Use the “More” tag on your index page. This will push readers to go to a second page to finish reading the article, view multimedia elements, etc.
  • Add “Related Posts” at the bottom. This quickly allows readers to find related content when they are finished reading your post. There are several WordPress plugins that do this automatically!
  • Hotlink your keywords. By hotlinking keywords and categories within your post, users can quickly navigate to find pages full of content related to their interests.
  • Incorporate search functionality. Make sure your search works, and works well!
  • Highlight popular and most recent posts. You can easily incorporate plugins in your sidebar that will pull in the posts with the most comments, the highest pageviews, or your most recent posts. This allows a user to quickly navigate to a post that is of interest, and allows them to join in the discussion.

Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni

Image Credit: SXC

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