As I continue to relate my adventures with this site, I thought it elevant to begin with a basic SEO technique. First, SEO stands for search ngine optimization, and it is related to SEM, which means search engine arketing. I am sorry, but for the purist, I use SEO to refer to all of my internet marketing. The idea is that you want a site that the search engines can find, and that they will recognize as relevant. I frequently take the approach that I do not care about the search engines, I want people to find me. It really is the same thing, but I mention this because you should not be so worried about your page rank and position with Google, you should be focused on who you are trying to reach.
Part of letting people know where you are is telling them how to find you by creating inbound links. The simplest inbound link can be created by commenting on a blog. When you comment, there will be a section to fill out with your name, url, and e-mail. Always fill this out so people can track back to find you. However, you may be wondering how to find blogs or places to comment. Here is my strategy:
- I set up Google Alerts for the keywords that I am tracking for my site.
This blog is about home inspections in Houston, so I have an alert
for “Houston home inspections”. I have these keyword alerts come once a day, so I can find what is being said, and comment if it is appropriate for me to do so.
- Since my business is in Houston, I want people from Houston to find me. Many media sites, like a local newspaper or television station, have blogs. Often these are set up by their viewers, so I go to blogs that have topics that I like to read. These blogs are generally read by people specifically in my community. I also look for blogs about my town through search engines or blogrolls on those media sites.
- I look for subjects that interest me through a site that lists blogs. I like Technorati, so I type terms into their search box to find blogs. I do not have to focus on my business or keywords when looking for blogs. I will make comments on science blogs, or ones about finances or
literature. I pick topics where I can speak intelligibly. Hobbies is a good place to start. If people like your comment, they will come to your site.
So now you have some places to go, you will need to have some guidelines about commenting. If you are new to this find the book Naked Conversations by Scoble and Israel
. It is great for teaching you about logging. I have found that many people do not comment well when they have set up a blog for business, so here are my guides:
- I only comment when I feel that I can add to the conversation. If I am commenting just to create a link to my site, I really will not leave an interesting message, so no one will come back to me. Comments like nice site or great post without really commenting on what they said are frequently deleted.
- Be respectful. It is alright to disagree and argue, but remember that you are a guest on someone else’s site, so act like you are in their home, particularly if you are blogging for your work. Read their post, and make sure that your disagreement actually reflects something that they wrote. Remember, it is their blog, and they can always have the last word, so they can make you look bad, or their other readers could make you look bad, if you get out of line.
- Do not make it a blatant ad. You have created a link when you typed in your url. If you had something interesting to say, then people can click on your name to track back to you. Putting your phone number, business name, a link to your site just looks bad, and it can make you look desperate. Most people who read blogs will not track back to your site.
- Do not make it always about your work. I rarely mention that I am a home inspector. If my comment is interesting enough, they find out, when they come back to my site. Since many places where I am commenting, having nothing to do with my profession, there is no reason to mention it. Sometimes, I have had the blog owner tell his/her readers that I am an inspector, which is a lot better advertising than if I did it.
This is my first basic step. You may consider meta tags or keyword optimization in your posts as the first step, but for me it is about the connection with others, so commenting comes first.