Friday, June 4, 2010

Day Fifteen: Search Engine Optimization (Insider Tricks)

The Spider and the Fly

A Poem by Mary Howitt

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."

Search Engine Optimization is yet another one of those insider buzzwords that gets thrown around with gusto (SEO for short, if you're in the biz, apparently).

The more we read up on the subject, however, the more it comes across as a dark art; practized by a near secret society of search engine optimization "engineers," "consultants," and cognescenti. From a superficial reading of on-line resources, we have gleaned the following insights:

1. Get inside your visitor's head

In order to get your website or blog noticed, you must think like your visitor; you need to try and work out how they found you or other similar sites. Which keywords are your friends / customers / followers typing into Google in order to track you down? This wonderful piece of wisdom is explored at length on HubSpot's website - HubSpot is one of the Social Media Marketing specialists in this area - and their website is worth trawling for all things related to SEO marketing and other such pearls of wisdom.

An excellent starting point, again from the generous folks at is "The Shortest Tutorial Ever on SEO." Go play.

2. Enticing your visitor into the Pantry....

Said the Spider to the Fly,"Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"

Accepted wisdom suggests that your website or blog needs to have a 'landing page.' This is that page which looks like an empty form with lots of boxes to be completed. The goal of your website/blog is to draw your visitor onto this page so that they voluntarily offer you information which then enables you then to profile who they are and interact appropriately.

You'll recognize when you're on this page on a website because it's the point where the site asks you for your personal information name, your telephone number and email address and there is normally an open ended question asking you to clarify what you are seeking. [In order to get you to surrender your personal details, you have probably been offered a related freebie -- a free e-book, webinar, information about an event, for example.]
We came across this excellent insider's guide to improving your use of Google. You may think you know this stuff already, but again if you want to hone your understanding of how keywords work, it's worthwhile improving your own search skills. Prepare to be surprised at some of the easy-peasy ways you can search more effectively. For example, "define easy peasy" takes you to a dictionary definition of the word. If you just type in "easy peasy" then you'll get adverts for a new Linux operating system called by the same name.

Tired of desk research, we're just nipping off for lunch with a well-known Philly blogger who regularly gets tens of thousands of hits a month on her flickgrrl blog

Our goal is to find out what it takes to write a commercially successful blog.

Guessed who it is yet?

Posted by: Claire

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