BlogHer Business Live Blog: How to Build Your Audience
March 21, 2007
(please excuse typos, grammar errors, crazy typing,etc)
Elise will have a page up at her website later today with the notes from her speech.
How To Build Your Audience
How to build traffic by leveraging technology and building robust community. How to optimize your site to build search engine traffic. How to use syndication (RSS) & subscriptions to build recurring traffic. How participating in the bigger blogging community drives traffic and comments. The works. Featuring mega-blogger Elise Bauer and Vanessa Fox, who can address the issue of SEO from the biggest SE of them all, Google.
Elise: I’d like to hear how many people here have blogs? How many people have corporate blogs? personal? Who uses blogger? typepad? wordpad, etc?
E: background about myself. 4rs ago I began blogging with moveable type, started blog Learning Moveable Type and then simply recipes blog. That site has grown to see 40-50,000 visitors a day. Last summer it was half that. Ihave been advising companies for years now focusing effort on my blog .
Three subjects: community, search engine optimization, and syndication,
Content: write about what you are passionate about or you will burn out and people won’t come. Also be useful, it has the most longevity.
Community:One of the things that strikes me is that people who come form tradtional publishing I thought great to express myself. I had comments coming in from people I don’t know. ALmost ignored them, who are they? Why are they coming? People usually are initially afreaid of linking to other sites. I have learned that community is the best levearge point for your blog. The engaging with an audience and people who ar einterested in the same things as you.
The difference between an online newsletter and a blog: it isn’t all about you. If you do not have comments active it is a newsletter. Tries to respond in the comment section also. Can have a stated comment policy.
My blog is my livingroom. Where to draw the line at approving comments? Decide the tone you want on your own blog.
The difference between broadcasting your message and engaging a peer group. “Make me care.”
1. link out to other blogs as much as you can. A blog roll shows that you care enough about the community, and those are the people that you want to come to our blog. linking to another “competitor” blog helps audience get the information that they want. Useful
2. Comments.check in and leave comments on their blogs. Her personal policy on how to get on blogroll: must be a food blog, link out to others and have been around for six months
3. Blog events. Carnivals. a great way to get started is to host an event. Send other bloggers an invite to participate in the event.
4. Contribute to community
Elise has over 200,000 subscribers to her feed
You want to have it set up so that feed readers can find your feed and people can find it easily.
Google in upper right side click on personalize google homepage. Many people come to ELise’s site through personalized google. Personalize your yahoo page with RSS feeds. Add to my google, add to my yahoo, etc buttons that way visitors can click on the button and type in their information and then they are on their page. Feedblitz will send your RSS feed to subscribers via email
Make sure your link is pointing to your feed
make sure you have this line
Search Engine Optimization:
HAnding over to Vanessa, works for google. webmaster central
Why is search important?i
Reverse advertising:potential vistors to your site are broadcasting exactly what they are look ing for. you can connect with your customers in individualized ways.
They want to provide the most relevance possible. Want users to spend as little time on google and onto the site theya re looking for
why does my site not show up? what can i do?
1: Discover: search engine has to know that the pages exist
follow links from other pages
through sitemap submission, basically a sitemap of all the pages of your blog. Can grab this through an RSS feed
more info you have more that people will connect through your links
2: Crawlability: search engines have to be able to access the pages
Are they allowed to access pages? is there a problem with the site or server?
Can they technically access pages?
Can they extract text from the pages?
With blogs this tends to be easy since google is text based search engine, flash is a problem, images can also be a problem. try turning everything off and see what text there is. Keep this in mind for people who are using your site. Don’t use flash for no reason. Can not read text inside of an image. use the alt tag with a relevant name and description. Caption and description of image.
When you search the engine looks for pages with matching text. othe factors include page title and content, links
3. Relevance: is a page from the site the most useful result for the search query?
What is the page about? What words are used on the page?
How well is the opage linked and how is it described by other sites?
What is your site about?
List top ten phrases about your site
Each phrase should be at least two words (”running shoe” raher than “shoes”)
If time allows, research what people are actually searching for. Use the words that people will be searching for to bring them into your site.
yahoo keyword selector tool
google adwords keyword tool
HAve good relevant unique content
the long tail search can add up. They come in through many different avenues
Funnel traffic, no longer people just coming to home page
Nike only gets 1% of all people looking for shoes. Zappos gets 21%. The reason is that Nike’s site is all graphic, not text based. Therefore the engine crawling the page doesn’t recognize it. They never use the word “shoes” in their site. make sure the words you want to target are in your site
What not to do:
don’t join a site just to put tons of links from random sites, relevant is the most important
the first thing is the guidlines at the webmaster central. Can find search terms people used to get to your site. look at what words are there that google thinks your site is about.
Do not allow turn and burn, which means putting terms in behind the site to bring people to the site
allow to opt in and have your images used in a game where people label your images, then the work is done for you
Title tag: every page should have a unique title and descriptive of article
Description tag: sell your site but don’t mislead
incorporate page’s target item
designing for browsers, 90% of people who use the web search
Submitting to search engines:
power of links:
context of links as well as numbers
Link Building Rules:
1.link to sites that you want vistors to know about
2.get links from websites that are read by the audience that you want to frequent your site
3.buy links for traffic, not Page Rank
text links are the way to go, not image, or use alt title
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