Greetings from the Rocky Mountains! I’m away this week in beautiful Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada for the CWC/Corus Digital Media Career Accelerator workshop.
This morning I will be presenting to a select group of women in the broadcasting industry a session on blog promotion through new media. I thought I’d give you a peek at the slide deck anyhow as the ideas can apply to ecommerce blogs also. (You may also download it from Slide Share)
They’re not the sexiest slides but I made them a bit more textual so the deck is somewhat understandable on its own.
Blog Promo and Social Media For Ecommerce
I’d like to go into a bit more detail here on Get Elastic with an ecommerce focus:
- Open up for conversation with your customers, gather feedback and attend to reputation management concerns
- Establish a personality for your company, employees or brands
- Attract long-tail search traffic and pre-sell your company or products
- Build backlinks to boost your overall link profile (if the blog is a sub-folder or sub-domain)
- Landing page for contests and promotions
- Information resource for customers, employees, partners, investors and affiliates
Blog Traffic Sources
- Offline awareness (your brick-and-mortar stores, print or TV/radio advertising, word-of-mouth)
- Link from your estore
- Links from other websites and blogs
- Search engines
- Blog search engines
- Social networks
- Email campaigns with blog call-outs
Basic Search Engine Optimization
- Keywords in the right places
- Links from relevant sites
- Blog plug-ins
- Good content / more content
Where to Place Keywords
- Title tag
- Page title
- Body text
- Link text (on your site and when others link to you)
- Post tags
- Alt attributes (images, video)
- Headings / bolded text
- URLs (keyword relevance in search engine and when people link to you)
Why Links Matter
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- Search engines need a measure of authority or popularity
- Blogs are more “linkable” than static business sites
- Deep links look more “natural” to search engines (don’t look purchased or bartered for)
- Links send traffic and help branding
- SEO Plugins for WordPress from Michael Gray
Other “Search Engines”
- Video sharing: YouTube, Google Video etc.
- Google / Yahoo News (Tips for getting into Google News from Search Engine Roundtable and Search Engine Guide)
- Blog search: Google / Technorati / Ice Rocket & more
Why StumbleUpon Rules
Because this is a fairly short session (45 minutes) and there are so many things I could say about the subject, I only had time to address one social network – StumbleUpon. In my opinion, if you do no other social media sharing, you should at least be on StumbleUpon. It’s a good entry-level social network for a number of reasons:
- Drives a ton of traffic (often more than Google)
- Don’t have to be a “power user” to get results (according to Dosh Dosh)
- Drives traffic long-term (as opposed to Digg-style sites where stories are hot for a day)
- General site but you can get very targeted (specific tags, groups etc)
- Toolbar makes submission easy
- Tech-savvy users often have their own blogs (link opportunity)
- You can discover things to blog about
StumbleUpon is a social network where members can surf tags related to their interests to discover sites, photos, videos and articles relevant to them. Rather than using a search engine and letting a machine decide what’s good content, StumbleUpon shows you sites others thought were cool. You can also follow members interested in your topic/industry and when you log in, you see a feed of relevant recently “thumbed” content that you can start checking out yourself. If you like it you thumb up, if you don’t like it you thumb down or hit the “Stumble” button again. Simple.
You can also share items with your network. This can be powerful when you have a network of like minded people who will thumb up content you share with them. Their recent thumbs may appear in Facebook profiles and newsfeeds as well as their StumbleUpon profile page and friends’ feeds. Here’s a StumbleUpon Networking Guide with screenshots for further reading.
You can friend a maximum of 200 people on StumbleUpon (but more than that can subscribe to your Stumble feed). Neil Patel gave us a tip back in October when he joined us for a webinar on social media marketing strategies: friend as many people as you can initially, and if they don’t friend back within a week, move on and friend some more.
I suggest looking for a group on a niche topic and adding friends from within that group or looking for people who have indicated their interest in a certain topic by tag. You can find niche groups by browsing http://group.stumbleupon.com or typing a tag keyword in the search box.
StumbleUpon users are techsavvy and are often bloggers themselves. They may be using their SU account to discover blog fodder and your content can reach more people (the blog’s RSS subscribers and search engine traffic). The back links also benefit you.
SU is also a social bookmarking tool. When people Stumble your content there’s a good chance they’ll come back later to view it again.
Other social media sites like Digg have algorithms that skew towards “power users” that submit topics that go popular. It takes a lot of work to build up your Digg history and friend following. StumbleUpon takes less effort – you can get traffic just for submitting stories to the StumbleUpon system. But you can get more mileage if you make use of the social features available to you: friending, joining groups, tagging and reviewing sites and members.