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Cheat Sheet

Corporate Blogging For Dummies

From Corporate Blogging For Dummies by Douglas Karr, Chantelle Flannery

Make the most of your corporate blog by choosing the correct blogging platform, incorporating SEO best practices in your corporate blog content, using plug-ins to increase the value of a visitor’s experience and additional blogging resources that may come in handy. This Cheat Sheet introduces you to corporate blogging tools and checklists to help you maximize your corporate blogging experience.

Finding the Right Platform for Your Corporate Blog

The first place to start your corporate blog is by choosing a blogging platform. You have choices of hosted and self-hosted platforms. Your corporate blog can be set up on many different platforms, depending on what you need. Make sure you choose the platform that is right for your organization’s requirements.

Software URL Notes
Blogger www.blogger.com Hosted; owned by Google; very limited optimization and personalization capabilities
Expression Engine www.expressionengine.com Requires you to host, optimize, and develop custom themes.
TypePad www.typepad.com Hosted; will require custom theming
TypePad Business www.typepad.com/business Hosted; monitored; suited for business blogs; will require custom theming
Moveable Type www.moveabletype.com Requires you to host and to develop
WordPress.com www.wordpress.com Hosted; limited customization
WordPress www.wordpress.org Requires optimization expert and theming design; heavy traffic will need to be configured on a good infrastructure
WordPress MU mu.wordpress.org Requires you to host and configure; built for managing multiple blogs
WordPress VIP vip.wordpress.com Hosted; monitored; for high performing blogs; will require theming; will require SEO research
Compendium www.compendium.com Software as a Service; require custom theming; comes with keyword research and client success
Drupal www.drupal.org Primarily a social application framework; blogging is a feature
Joomla! www.joolma.com Primarily a content management system; blogging is a feature
Posterous www.posterous.com Hosted; intended for quick posts; not corporate friendly
Tumblr www.tumblr.com Hosted; intended for quick posts; not corporate friendly

Corporate Blogging SEO Best Practices

Search engine traffic can dramatically impact the success of your corporate blogging strategy. Corporate blogging programs that implement search engine optimization best practices into their blogging strategy may obtain over half of all traffic from search engines. That’s a fantastic acquisition opportunity for your company, and one that cannot be ignored.

Optimizing your blog for search engines is an ongoing process. Onsite SEO can be broken into three parts: platform, theme design, and individual blog post content optimization.

The following is a list of SEO techniques that should be implemented on every corporate blog:

Platform

  • Robots.txt implementation that blocks crawler from unnecessary folders, such as the administration panel, and points to the XML sitemap.

  • Automated XML sitemap generator that is updated upon publishing changes.

  • Automated pinging to submit sitemap to search engines and other services that will fully crawl the blog.

  • Canonical URLs to ensure that backlinks are weighted properly for content found in multiple locations.

Theme Design

  • Page structure that puts relevant content on top and other content, such as sidebars, farther down in the actual HTML.

  • Page titles formatted with post title followed by blog name, ensuring keyword rich post titles weigh well with search engines.

  • Headings for blog titles are H1 tags, post titles are H2 tags, and content subheadings are H3 titles. Sidebar headings should be H4 or lower.

  • Post titles are keyword-rich for improved indexing by search engines and worded to grasp the search engine users' attention.

  • Meta descriptions are keyword-rich and compel the search engine user to click through the search engine results page.

Content

  • Blog post body uses keywords within the first 60 words; the content sounds natural and keywords don’t take away from the value of the post to the reader. Repeat important keywords naturally throughout.

  • Image alternative (alt) tags utilize keyword-rich descriptions of images within your blog posts.

  • Anchor text uses internal links to link from one blog post to the next to help search engines crawl your entire site, increase visitor onsite time, and improve overall engagement.

Remember that you are writing for the reader more than the search engine so make the content valuable to the reader. Every post should answer a question and provide value to your corporate blog readers. If it doesn’t, you need to adjust the post.

Improving Blog User Experience with Plug-ins

A number of different technologies can enhance your blog. Plug-ins, widgets, and gadgets all make new features, integrations, and enhancements easy to package and distribute. These technologies are evolving all the time, but to get your blog up and running, here are some of the current best choices for a variety of purposes.

Widget/Plug-in Name Topic URL
All in One SEO Pack SEO wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack
XML Sitemap Generator SEO wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/
Related Posts Linking fairyfish.com/2008/03/21/wordpress-related-posts-plugin
Webtrends Analytics www.webtrends.com
Analytics 360@@dg E-mail and Google Analytics http://www.mailchimp.com/features/power_features/analytics360/
Clicky Analytics www.getclicky.com
Facebook Fan box Social Media www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets
ChaCha.me Social FAQs me.chacha.com
Formspring Forms www.formspring.me
TweetMeme Social Media www.tweetmeme.com
Share This Sharing www.sharethis.com
Add This Sharing www.addthis.com
FeedBurner Feed Analytics www.feedburner.com

Corporate Blogging Resources

Having additional resources available is always helpful. Anyone creating a blog for the first time can your all the ideas, insight, and tools they can get their hands on. Here is a list of handy resources that have been reliable over the years. Go to any of these resources first with your questions about blogging.

Resource URL
Problogger www.problogger.com
Marketing Technology Blog www.marketingtechblog.com
Marketing Pilgrim www.marketingpilgrim.com
Social Media Explorer www.socialmediaexplorer.com
Copy Blogger www.copyblogger.com
Firebelly Digitalia Blog blog.firebellydigital.com
Hubspot blog.hubspot.com
The Make It Great Guy www.philgerbyshak.com
Liz Strauss www.successful-blog.com
Blog Bloke www.blogbloke.com
Professional Blog Services www.problogservice.com/blog
Roundpeg www.roundpeg.biz/blog
Compendium blogging.compendiumblogware.com
Brandswag www.getbrandswag.com
Chris Brogan www.chrisbrogan.com
Debbie Weil www.debbieweil.com
Buzz Marketing for Technology www.pauldunay.com
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