Monday, June 23, 2008

Ghostwriting Blogs for Clients for Link Building and Social Media

I have been writing blogs for quite some time. Blogs are a great link building tool, and they are also great for customer relationship building, reputation management, and a good survey tool to get a feel for what people think about new products and services. In order for a blog to be a good search engine optimization (SEO) link building tool, however, one must use linking strategies that are acceptable and effective with the engines like Google and Yahoo. Right now, one of my blogs is for our client Entertainment Career Connection.

Blogs are great for customer relations if done properly. And remember that anything you post on the Internet can come back and bite you later on. It will stay up for a long time. So be very careful what you say. Authenticity is very important, and starting conversations with your readers is what works today, and in fact, it is the shift in marketing all together.

I have a blog for one of our clients and as part of his campaign for reputation management we do an educational blog that talks about his activities on the Boards of two charities, and also serves as a research and information tool for trends in education, and enables link backs to his website. I use every single blog topic that I write to also revise it into a longer article for submission to article websites. But you cannot submit duplicate copy or the search engines will not count it.

There's one aspect of blog writing that people often do not understand - and that is the search engine optimization and PR value. Take for instance, Rocco's blog above. I post one to two times per week in his blog. Basically you can type in Rocco Basile on Google, and note that many of the items in the ranking list are now positive posts, and include both his official website as well as blog posts, some PR Web listings, and articles. Inside his blog posts I always provide links back to his website. And the linking strategy can be to specific pages in his website that are related about my topic - not just to the home page. There are times when we have seen blog posts get picked up by other bloggers, who link to the blog.

Blogging requires a goal, and they are a lot of work. But the beauty of blogging is that it provides a marketing vehicle that does NOT rely on a third party, such as an editor writing an article about you. Corporate blogs provide you with an opportunity to tell your company's story. Various executives in your company, large or small, can post to a corporate blog, so you can create a strategy ahead of time, then assign folks to write.

Blogs are a great "Crisis Management" tool. Just look at how popular Martha Stuart's blog was during her court battle. And blogs are a great way to build a database of interested people, users, etc. Just shoot folks over to a sign up form from your blog, and you are certain to get some opt ins.

And as for the return on investment for blog writing, it costs very little - you can set up a blog at, for free. So it costs you in time - your time, the time of your employees, or the writing fees to hire someone like MarCom to ghostwrite your blogs. You can check to see if your blog is building website traffic, because of course, the better your blog's linking strategies are, the more folks will visit your website. Once a visitor comes in to your website from your blog, what path do they go down? do they ultimately get funneled to a sale? These things must be tracked on your website by programs like Google Analytics, which is free, or HitsLink, which is the one we like. And of course, you need the experience to be able to read and analyze the reports once they are generated on HitsLink, to track successes over a period of time.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Website Search Engine Optimization Tips

We have been meeting with many new clients lately, and in doing so, realize that most of their websites are NOT properly optimized. This is in part because today's website designers and web master's have not yet caught up with SEO tactics, knowledge and practices.

MarCom's Mike Keesling, who has been doing SEO since the beginning, says the most important element of website optimization is NO SPLASH SCREENS AND NO FLASH! Next is if you are going to opt for an open source solution for a database driven site (such as Big media USA) make sure you can do individual title tags.

It is unfortunate because most companies would be realizing much improved traffic to their sites if they were optimized. These skills have taken our MarCom SEO experts years to develop and hone, so it's not likely that a company can do it alone - or if they do it will take longer than if they hire SEO specialist teams like MarCom.

The first tip is that you can never use Flash on your home page. It may look nice, but Flash blocks the search engines from reading a web page. Embedded Flash is OK. Remember the more content that has been optimized in your pages the better. Most designers hate this, because white space in design has long been preferred. But when it comes to website optimization, make the pages above the fold or middle pretty, then add more optimized content below the fold.

By optimized content we mean that it has your key words and phrases embedded in the copy. Take for example MarCom. Our key words are website optimization, search engine optimization, social media marketing, online marketing, SEO, social media marketing strategy and so forth. NOTE how I linked the main key word pertaining to this article to our website? I would typically link it to a page on our site with focus to website optimization. Once our new MarCom New Media website is up I will do that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Social Media and Blog Marketing Strategies and Measurement

We recently had an inquiry from a new business client about doing blogger relations, and or blog marketing. As MarCom has been doing search engine marketing and blogs since the beginning, we have some sweet case histories, or success stories, if you will, but what came up is that it is often hard to write a case history when you don't even know how many bloggers have picked up your story without tracking them on Google. This era of new media marketing is still processing some of the measurement techniques - and the reality is - these results can take more than just a few months to track.

So as an exercise to do a "Client Successes" document for blogger relations, we used our client The Wiley Protocol, and believe it or not, even just in this year of 2008, I tracked back on Google - at least ten pages - and found that we have logged about 50 plus blog mentions since January. Some of these hits were picked up from our SEO press releases and articles. That said, blogger marketing actually goes hand in hand with SEO. And, that said, it should be part of, not separate from, your SEO and Social Media Marketing strategy. Figure out your objectives first - such as reaching brand advocates, or reaching consumers versus young medical doctors online. Or it could be getting more media, or promoting a special offer for a specific product or service.

As for how we can measure our successes? My associate Mike Keesling suggested that some measurement can be quantitative (such as the number of mentions on blogs below) and also qualitative. For example, you can measure traffic stats on your website and track (using HitsLink or Google Analytics tracking) how many people come to your website because of a blog post. Did traffic increase? You can also measure key words used on the blogs, and the SEO results. Again a strategy is required. And the results must be reviewed over a couple of months. It all takes time.

Another one of our clients - - has been optimizing mostly for the key word pet urns, or pet urn, dog urn, cat urn. Of course we also optimize for the words "pet memorials." It is working. She is finally getting customers buying more urns when their pets die. She writers her own blog, but if she didn't, MarCom would ghostwrite it for her, and the bottom line is that we are all on the same page with the SEO and social media marketing strategy. I write optimized press releases and SEO articles as well for this client. Check it out. Also note how I am linking in this blog (see links) for MarCom as well as our clients.

Our excellent results are below for The Wiley Protocol ( We started working with her on SEO about a year and a half ago. Now, our key word strategy has paid off, because she is in the top pages of Google for most of her most important key words. This client now has tens of thousands of consumer customers. The list of close to 50 blog mentions is below – mostly since Jan 08. And this may be only part of them.

Oh and just FYI there are also blog posting services for $20 to $75 per blog where you are guaranteed blog posts. So just like anything else in life, you can buy your way onto a blog, and it would be a legitimate link (back to your site) which is great for your SEO results. But that requires a strategy and money. You can get a couple of hundred blogs with a good budget, or you can hire MarCom for blogger relations for much less per month.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Best Link Building Practices

One of, if not the most important element in getting high search engine rankings for your Website is what is called link building. The search engines analyze and count links to your website - and they take a look at patterns for linking, linking profiles, deep-linking, and if you have used one-way versus the now old school reciprocal link building strategies.

As we have said many times before, content is king on your site. But right up there in importance is the quality of each link. That is more important than how many links you have.

Here are ten tips from our MarCom SEO expert, Mike Keesling's tips for link building.

1) Make your links inbound one-way links with anchor text that is related to your site.
2) Links should be from a site that’s related to the theme and content of your Website.
3) You need to vary the anchor text of your keywords and keyphrases when getting links from other sites.
4) Find your competition’s links at -- type
5) Do NOT do reciprocol links, but IF you do, create a special link swapping page on your site.
6) Don't use link farms, which are sites that host a large array of spam links.
7) There are some good directories for link building but most are worthless.
8) Links from social media websites like DIGG are fantastic. Getting an article on the front page might even cause your server to crash!
9)Electronic press releases are good links. Use
10) Do NOT purchase links.

Basically, anyone can do these link building SEO strategies, however, those of us who have been doing SEO and social media for as long as we have, use other special tricks, and we know how to get the best links because we also link using your key words and phrases.