Archives for December 2006

Links and Feeds and Blogs – Oh My!

Successful (SEO) Search Engine Optimization includes dozens of aspects to help your web page perform at full potential in the natural (non-paid) Search Engine Results.

As we have discussed there are two main aspects to proper site optimization.

1. On-Page factors: The things you can directly control on your website by correctly placing content, layout features, meta data, navigation, and the inclusion of search engine friendly elements.

2. Off-Page factors: The are considerations that take place partially or completely away from your website. The main consideration is linking, but also include hosting, age, history, and competition factors.

These two factors are the primary considerations the search engines use when determining your sites placement in the natural search results. The weight each factor caries is generally determined by the competition for a given search term. Search terms that are not particularly competitive seem to rely more on the On-Page Factors to deliver results. Markets that are highly contested increase the importance of Off-Page Factors. In addition, the various search engines have their own formula to deliver results. If a weight had to be assigned to each factor, I would place it in the range of 60%-40% in favor of the On-Page Factors. Sixty percent is still a failing grade!

The Off-Page Factors include a multitude of tools to accomplish the primary task of developing links that point back toward your web site. Some of the most successful tools you can include are RSS Feeds and a Blog.

Lets define what these terms mean first.

RSS Feed: RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Syndication is a fancy description for distribution or broadcast. By including any content in an RSS distribution format (called a feed) you can automatically broadcast your information to anyone that wants to receive it. They do not have to come to your web site to see what is new, because your web site automatically send out the information!

Blog: A simple software application that allows a user with little or no computer experience to write content and automatically post it to the internet. Blogs are still thought of (incorrectly) as just a place to put an online diary. In fact, the modern blog can be integrated into the web site design, and many times the web visitor never even knows they are looking at a “blog.” It’s just another web page!

The Connection – Putting it all together.

One of the main linking tactics we use in the RighNow Communications (RNC) linking program is to develop generic content around the search engine phrase we want your web page to score high for in the search results. The links back to your site are embedded into the article or information release. Then, the content is listed on the web in an RSS broadcast directory. When the “feed” is picked up by another web site, your links ride along for free. Well placed content can create hundreds of links back to your site in the process. Better yet, potential customers can follow the trail, right to your sites front door!

Another recommendation from RNC is to develop a business blog on your site. Think of a blog as your own private online newspaper advertising. The blog will allow you to add updated information to your website on the fly, building your sites content quickly. In addition, blogging software has a built-in RSS feature that will allow visitors to add your “information broadcasts” to their website or RSS Inbox with a single click! The most attractive part of creating a blog is that the most popular blog software is … FREE! The look of the blog can be customized easily to match the look or your website.

All of the strategies discussed here are considered “search engine friendly” and are quickly becoming internet marketing standards. They combine a complete “Factor” strategy by combining content with linking to form a total package.

Please feel free to contact Dave or Chris to find out how to apply these powerful techniques to you site today.