Did You Get Around Optimizing That Blog Yet?

What is SEO?

For those of you who strictly use the Internet to post picture to Facebook of last nights debacle or peruse Youtube for a bit of comic relief you may be unfamiliar with the term SEO. What you may not know is that you come in contact with it on a regular basis. SEO is short for search engine optimization, which is the art of improving content visibility.

For the sake of example, lets say I type in the keyword phrase, “Surf Film Festival”. Google takes keywords combination deploys a bunch of web crawlers and gathers a collection of results that reflect my desired topic of interest. For end users it’s just that simple. Search and you will find. Conversely, for bloggers, website owner or anyone looking to increase their online presence, SEO is much more important.

Google "Surf film Fesival" Screen Shot

surf film festival google search

Why is it important?

Now you might be asking yourself why should I care about SEO? For one, I think we can all agree that the only reason we create a blog or website is to share our knowledge, services, thoughts and individuality with our networks, otherwise what’s the point, right?

In this current day in age our online landscape are extremely competitive. According to WordPress.com, a popular blogging service, over 6 million newly created blogs enter the blogosphere in 2010 up by an impressive 53% from the previous year alone.

Content is being shared, liked and commented on across endless social platforms, which has encouraged search engines to recalibrate the weight they assign to public opinion (social signals). With the volumes of competition we are seeing today, SEO is your only chance to target your audience, increase your reach and spread awareness about the superstar you truly are. That is of course if you’re not a celebrity with millions of people following your every move.

Competitive Web Landscape

Nose ahead of the competition

Things you as a blogger should do to optimize the structure of your blog

As I alluded to the popularity of blogs a moment ago, the rest of this post is going to concentrate the relationship between blogs and SEO. The reason I’m focusing on blogs verse website is because blogs have a very special characteristic compared to traditional websites. Blogs are continuously updated with new content and we all know that search engine love fresh new content, greedy little things.

The first step in optimizing your blog is making its user friendly for both visitors and search engine. Navigation is crucial, have you ever been to a site that feels like one trap door after another? I’ll tell you from personally experience, if I have to work to figure out how to access the information its definitely not worth my time. I will also bet that there is someone else offing that same content and is taking my user experience into consideration. Don’t even put yourself in a situation where you users might be abort your blog for someone else.

XML & HTML site maps can help with this. Site maps are files containing all your blog URL’s while ultimately informing search engine when the latest content has been updated. The reason site maps are so beneficial is, instead of relying on search engine to mossy across your new post, site maps say “Hey you come check me out, I got something you want”. It’s like dinner bells at chow time.

Content schedule are a really good rule of thumb too. They help maintain topic focus and structure. Furthermore, when your blog is getting tons of traffic taking a week or two off is like self-sabotaging your own success.

Diversify your content to, we live in a media rich environment and end users are not only looking to be stimulated mentally but visually as well. Try incorporating, photos and videos into your blog posts. When your blog popularity and traffic grows, think about including RSS feeds so your dedicated audience doesn’t have to literally visitor your blog but instead receive it directly in their email inbox.

SEO outline

SEO Outline

Things you as a blogger should do to optimize the text content of your blog

Optimizing the web copy within your post is by no means a one step process. A good starting point to focus on which I can’t emphasis enough is, “ Personality, Personality, Personality”. Be original, be authentic and have a voice for the sake for your future, don’t be a robot. Write for human beginnings not search engines unless you’re trying to bore people to death.

Create enticing headlines that incite curiosity and a reason for someone to take the time out of their busy day to read your content. Do your research and identify keywords that visitors are using to find you. A great starting point to achieve this would be to incorporate an analytic solution so you can monitor what keywords terms and phrases are popular amongst your targeted audience. After identifying these terms, include them into your web copy, post titles, URL’s help in being relevant and isolating your targeted audience. One definite precaution to keep in mind is to keep it natural, search engines will penalize your for overloading your web copy with keyword for the sole purpose of increasing rank. Be Careful!

Give credit where credit is due. What I mean by this is if your decided to utilize someone else’s thoughts in your blog post, make sure you credit them appropriately. There are several reasons for this, number one your practicing good blogging ethics and protecting your reputation especially in our overly social landscape were bad press fly’s faster than a jet fighter on steroids. The second reason is, you will be increasing the possibility of gaining back links and fostering affiliated relationships with others online personalities by tapping into their networks through linking credit.

How video, images or other media can help your optimization efforts

Optimizing rich media is also known as DAO, digital assets optimization and yes rich media is truly a major assets to you. Think about it like this, everyone has different learning style so by offering content in various contexts will only aid in increasing your end users experience and making search engines job that much easier

Keywords are the spokesmodels of your content, maybe not as good looking but you catch my drift. They inform search engine of the quality and topics within them as search engine can only crawl and index text. Include keywords into filenames, anchor text, titles, alt text and descriptive summary of your video content.

Images are very similar approach as video content. Images should also contain alt text, for examples if you’re posting a picture of a child playing football, describe what you see as if your intended audience is visually imparted. Remember that a good potion of your audience will be accessing your blog while at work or some other restricted circumstance. Don’t assume everyone’s system is completely configured because we all know what happens when you assume!

vimeo

Vimeo logo

Beyond ‘traditional’ optimization; using social media to enhance your blog SEO

Social media fuels momentum and enables potential blog content the ability to extend its reach further and deeper than ever before. By becoming proactive in the forums, chat rooms and other social platforms help establish relationships and potentially redirect traffic back to you. Search engine all have assigned more weight to social singles meaning that your trust and authority is based on how the public feel about your content. The more people share, link and comment on your blog greatly increasing ranking and visibility.

Make your post easily sharable by embedding inline social media calls to action button into your post such as comments boxes, share and like buttons. This way everything can be done right there, easing the burden on your user.

Look at your social media channels YouTube, Twitter, Facebook as extended branches of your blog tree. Post links to these platforms to gain backlinks and redirect traffic to the originating source, your blog. Tease people with your quality content to create curiosity. Aside for just viewing social media as extended avenues to deliver your blog content, look at social media as a researching tool. Monitor what’s taking place, what are the hot topics, leverage of Google Reader, Twitter and other so that you’re in the know and on top of popular trends.

Lastly, consider teaming up with guest bloggers to be featured on your blog. By having external help will keep things fresh, offer new perspectives and subsequently draw in guest bloggers networks helping to increase blog awareness. SEO is a working process that never truly ends, make sure to testing and experiment regularly to ensure your working with the right formulas and have FUN!!!

SnowBunnies and Web Banners

Here is a few examples of Snow Film Festival NYC web banners I created for my display adverting class. Each banner had to target a different buyer persona. Im very curious to hear some feeback, especially why or why not you would click on the ad.

Beautiful

Rosie Huntington photoshoot by Yu Tsai
http://www.yutsai.com/

Kilian Martin

Nixon’s Art Mosh

I have never been so pissed I missed an event before, by the looks of the recap video the party was pumping and the art scene was fresh and young. It was an A list event for sure as you can tell by some of the familiar face!


video by highsnobiety tv

Splash Paint

Pretty beauty piece here by XXXXMagazine.

Artic Surf

Just saw this trailer posted on a friends facebook and had to share it. I love how they describe the search and magnetism of surfing!