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					First, I am not an expert on SEO but I have been successful.
I invested a considerable amount of time reading up on it
when I started blogging. And I never do anything part way!
So how good is the search engine optimization on my blog?
Google ‘community manager’ and see what you get:




What does this mean (ie: why should you care?):

1. Today I rank #1 for searching in Google for ‘community
manager’. (I finally rank higher than my friend, Jeremiah
Owyang, who rightfully deserves high regard for his Four
Tenets article.) Yes, this is a competitive sport.

2. The organizer of Community 2.0 reached out to me to
speak because she Googled ‘Community Manager’

3. My present client Googled ’social media community
manager Minnesota’ and found me. Yes, I also live in
Minnesota (And yes, I do consult on special projects)

Be forewarned that SEO (search engine optimization) is
addictive.
But the payback is that a blog can greatly increase a site’s
presence in the eyes of search engines. What does this
mean?

1. People who are looking for your topic can find you.

2. You don’t need to buy Google Ad’s for your site or
advertise it.

3. It gives you presence as a leader in the niche and
increases your brand presence.

Let’s translate that into business goals:

1. Customers seeking your product/resource will find you

2. Little or no $$’s need to be spent on marketing and
advertising

3. Establishes your brand as an industry leader providing
information and increases your brand visibility

Most importantly, it’s gratifying to give back to the
community that supports you (whether as an individual or as
a company)

My sister is my webmaster and she’s done a great job with
mine. You can find her at SolutionsByHeidi

Here are her 3 suggestions in terms of what she feels are
important:

  1. Sitemap – submit to Google & Yahoo so that it’s
     crawled immediately
  2. AllinOne SEO – this is a very popular WordPress plugin
     (esential is probably more like it)
  3. Metatags – choose ones that people search for and
     don’t have too many
Content – This takes time but writing about related topics on
a consistent basis builds SEO quickly. For example, I put up
my blog in Sept 2007 and focused on Community
Management in Dec 2007.

There is no need to worry about keyword density. (If you
don’t know what I mean by that – don’t worry about it, be
happy!)

Note: If someone hands you a list of corporate keywords &
tells you to use them… you need to have a talk with them.
Here are my suggestions:

  1. Review the keywords. Are they words that your
     customers use in their daily conversations? (If not, it’s
     no use to use them).
  2. Use a monitoring tool like Techrigy SM2 to analyze
     conversations around your brand & industry to analyze
     the author tags to identify the best keywords to use.
     Here’s an example of a tag cloud for my niche of
     Community Manager from SM2. (Do the corporate SEO
     keywords need tweaking? oh my! See what I mean?)
  3. Writing around corporate keywords comes off stilted.
     Just write naturally & the organic SEO will happen. I
     always appreciated that @ShashiB got that when I
     worked with him at Network Solutions.

More importantly, make sure that your titles have keywords
related to your topic in them. For example I used to put up a
weekly post called Community Strategist Links to reinforce
my SEO for that phrase. I also have a redirect from
http://communitystrategist.com so the URL helps with my
SEO. (ie: purchase a URL related to your keywords if
possible).

And search engines also see the first paragraph, so getting
your terms in there is also useful. (Make your point as soon
as possible). If you scroll back up I slid in ‘Community
Manager’ in the first paragraph. For awhile I was on a bent
of disliking ‘community manager’ so I was using community
building & community strategist but I realized that I was
doing myself a disservice in terms of SEO.

Utilize internal links within your site. If you wrote about a
related topic then link back to it. Search engines like seeing
the interrelationship within your site. In number 2 just
above I linked to a previous post that shows an Author Tag
Cloud that I was referring to.

Search Engines love back links

Link love – Link to other blogs in your niche. As bloggers we
all like to have backlinks. That builds our own SEO. And
when you link to us, then we’ll come over, read your post,
comment and then in the future link to you. This will
increase your SEO and it creates a lot of happiness in the
community at large. Not sure where to find related
bloggers? Use Technorati Search and search by those with
High Authority. (It will introduce you to new friends in your
topic area too!)

Blog Roll – These are another type of backlinks but they
aren’t viewed as highly by search engines as backlinks in the
content. Link to the blogs that you read and as time goes on
others will link back to you. If you get to know a blogger,
you can ask if you could mutually link to each other’s blogs
but please develop a relationship before asking (otherwise
it’s tacky – I delete so many emails about this… If you don’t
know me, don’t spam me!).

Commenting on other people’s blogs – This is really
important if you’re going to be a blogger. It’s as much about
participation as it is about writing. So go forth and read
other people’s blogs in your niche and comment. Leave
meaningful comments. If you have written a post that adds
value to your comment then add the link. I call these legacy
links or breadcrumbs because they create a path back to
your blog for readers in the future. It also contributes to
your SEO because it’s another type of backlink. People love
getting comments and if you expect them then give first and
ye shall receive.

Measuring your progress

Google Analytics is the best place to watch your blog
presence grow. You can see what keywords are helping
people find your blog with. You can also see where your
traffic is coming from (both physical source as well as blog
url’s). Google has set up a self paced course at Conversion
University.

Claim your blog on Technorati – this shows your Rank,
Authority & the number of backlinks. You can track your
progress. Some bloggers feel that Technorati no longer has
as much relevance.

Finally, Google your topic area. Once you start getting on
the top one to three pages it will serve as additional
motivation.

For more reading: Darren Rowse has tons of resources
(that’s where I learned much from!)

				
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