Corporate Blogging For Dummies
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.
|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:
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.
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.
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.
|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/|
|Analytics 360@@dg||E-mail and Google Analytics||http://www.mailchimp.com/features/power_features/analytics360/|
|Facebook Fan box||Social Media||www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets|
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.
|Marketing Technology Blog||www.marketingtechblog.com|
|Social Media Explorer||www.socialmediaexplorer.com|
|Firebelly Digitalia Blog||blog.firebellydigital.com|
|The Make It Great Guy||www.philgerbyshak.com|
|Professional Blog Services||www.problogservice.com/blog|
|Buzz Marketing for Technology||www.pauldunay.com|