11/05/2007

Keys to Success: Search Engine Optimization and Blogs

Last month we presented our first annual "Drive Thru: Online Marketing Essentials Breakfast", a "get in, get out" mini-seminar about what every online marketing and communications manager should know. We talked about the tools and tactics currently in use, and their performance for online marketing and communications. We enjoyed a great turnout and to our good fortune, the majority of the participants (62%) found the seminar to be "Excellent". See what the event was like:

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Drive Thru: Online MarketingEssentials Highlights Video

From the "Drive Thru: Online Marketing Essentials Breakfast" survey, the majority of the participants found "Search Engine Optimization" and "Business Blogs" to be the topics they enjoyed most.We also talked about Online Video and Podcasting, but I'll focus this issue of our eNewsletter on a quick summary of the "Keys to Success" for "Search Engine Optimization" and "Business Blogs" as presented during the seminar.

Search Engine Optimization- Keys to Success

1. Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) important? Because when prospective clients look for your product or service, your company's website should be one of the first to show up in the first page of the search results.

2. Search Engine Market Share Focus: You have finite budget and resources to commit to SEO, so make sure you focus on the search engines that will deliver the most amount of traffic to your website. In today's market, Google is king. Google receives approximately 50% of all searches done online.

3. Site Design: Your website needs to be designed so that search engines like Google and Yahoo easily pick up your website's content and add it to their database. This way, when people search for your product/service, the search engines will be able to display your company's information as part of the search results. Site design is a technical and broad topic, so I won't discuss it here. I will tell you that those Adobe Flash based websites-- you know, those pretty, animated, "wait while the site uploads" websites-- are not indexed or recorded by search engines.

4. Key Words: The best way to think of keywords is to think of a person using a search engine to search the web. The search engine field will ask the person to type in the keywords for whatever they're trying to find. If they're looking for pet food, they may type words like "dog, food, sale, Miami". The general idea is that your website is tailored so that the keywords potential clients may use are the same keywords found in your website's content. These are also the same keywords that search engines store in their databases in order to match the results and display an answer based on your query. Yes, it gets more technical, but that's the basic idea behind keywords.

Business Blogs- Keys to Success

1. Why are blogs important? Because they are the fastest way to publish and distribute information online.

2. Set Content Subject Matter and Objectives: Your blog needs to communicate to the potential readers what the blog is about and what they can expect from the blog's content.

3. Publish Frequently: Blogs thrive based on regularly published content. How regularly? To the tune of two new entries per week. The content on a blog is quickly published and quickly consumed; that's why new content is vital to its ability to retain readers.

4. Make It Useful: If you reposition the same information as everyone else then your content is not unique and the reader can get it everywhere. The idea is that you will talk about how the news or product affects your readers. That's what makes it useful.

5. Use Your Keywords: You want to use your website keywords in your blog as well to help search engines display your blog as part of the search results. The main idea that I communicated through Loop's "Drive Thru: Online Marketing Essentials" was that marketing and communication officers need to look at the online channels and determine how to present their messages in the mediums (blogs, eNewsletters, podcasts, videos, etc...) that will best appeal to their target audience, and not the other way around.

Marcos J. Menendez
President Loop Consulting Group, LLC
mmenendez(at)loopconsulting(dot)com