Episode 63: Stephan Spencer on Top SEO Blog Mistakes, Social Media Power User Hacks and Sticky Posts
Stephan, founder of Netconcepts, an SEO agency in Wisconsin joins Susan live in the studio to help listeners increase their blog visibility. Stephan is a master SEO expert and he shares the top mistakes we make on our blogs that prevent us from having the best organic search rankings possible. He breaks the issues into three categories: inbound links, internal links and content. Hear what you can do easily to get more blog traffic including creating good Link Bait as a strategy for visibility. And if you do not have a technical bone in your body, find out how you can hire a business blog consultant to just "take care of it" for you.
Suz and Stephen also discuss SEO PR and Social Media PR and what really works vs. what is a waste of energy. Stephan demystifies StumbleUpon and gives some power user advice for more fully leveraging LinkedIn. Stephen's excellent blog posts also give you more detail about all these issues - so read on after he sets the stage on DishyMix. http://stephanspencer.com
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix, I'm your host Susan Bratton an on today's you're gonna meet Stephan Spencer, he's the founder and president of an SEO firm out of Wisconsin called Net Concepts and the funniest thing happened. I was online readin stuff and I discovered a blog post that was fascinating to me. It was 'Ten Tips To Help Your Blog Soar in Search Engines' and I read it, I loved it and I saw that it was Stephan and somehow I connected the dots that Stephan was in town, for the SES show, speaking at SES. I emailed him and called him, said 'hey, come on over to the studio, let's have you on the show'; he said yes and he's here today, in studio, in Los Altos, California, to tell you all about SEOPR, blogging and all kinds of things. So, on today's show we're gonna talk about internal politics, foocamp, utility clouds, social marketing power user hacks and blog soaring.
Stephan Spencer: I think SEO's are some of the best social media marketers our there. I mean as long as you, you're not trying to gain the system, you're just trying to be, um, altruistic and authentic in your interactions in the social media space, I think SEO's are doing an incredible job out there. I am a huge fan of social media PR but only when it's done right and there's so many occasions where it's done wrong. Maybe there are a hundred bloggers in your field of interest.
Susan Bratton: Mmm hmmm.
Stephan Spencer: Don't try to go after all hundred, instead pick the most influential and then build relationships with them; that'll be a lot more successful. It's useful to have, one or two, what are called LIONS.
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Stephan Spencer: Linked In Open Networkers, on your network, and the reason why is because, one of these LIONS could bring in, well they could have five, ten thousand contacts on their network. What you find is a website owner, when you get stumbled and you get, uh, uh, your, you know good ratings and everything, you're gonna get much more sustainable traffic than if you were to, say, reach the front page of dig dot com.
Susan Bratton: Let's welcome Stephan onto the show...hey Stephan.
Stephan Spencer: Hey
Susan Bratton: It's great to have you here in our cozy little studio.
Stephan Spencer: Yes, it is cozy.
Susan Bratton: Thanks so much for coming over. How's SES going?
Stephan Spencer: Its goin great!
Susan Bratton: Yeah?
Stephan Spencer: mmm hmmm.
Susan Bratton: What was your presentation? I don't even remember.
Stephan Spencer: It was on the long tail. So, focusing on the less popular key words, but when, in agrigate they actually drive quite a lot of traffic, particularly for a big e-commerce site.
Susan Bratton: Well, that's what it seems like Net Concepts is. It's really a blend of, e-commerce companies, for whom, you do a lot of SEO.
Stephan Spencer: Yup.
Susan Bratton: That's your area of expertise, that's your sweet spot.
Stephan Spencer: Yeah, its mainly retailers.
Susan Bratton: Retailers, that's great. And you started that company back in nineteen ninety five.
Stephan Spencer: Yes, back in the very early days of the web.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that's great. What did you do before you were a web genious?
Stephan Spencer: Well, I was actually studying biochemistry. I was in a Ph.D. program, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and I decided, uh, you know, the internet was really heating up. I went to a conference and I met some of the folks from Netscape, I'd never heard of Netscape, this was nineteen ninety four and I just, I, totally fell in love with it. I decided to quit school and I actually stayed an extra couple months, got a, Master's degree, but uh, yeah, so I got a Master's in biochemistry, use that everyday...but yeah its been a fun ride, I started as a web design firm and over the course of the years became more and more specialized in search engine optimization and we been doin SEO for at least eight years.
Susan Bratton: Well its funny too because we're gonna talk today, not just about SEO but about social media marketing. And I saw a snarky twitter yesterday, where someone was saying 'how come all these SEO people think they know anything about social media marketing?'. What do you have to say about that? True? False?
Stephan Spencer: Oh, I , I...I think SEO's are some of the best social media marketers out there. I mean as long as you, you're not trying to gain the system, you're just trying to be, um, altruistic and authentic in your interactions in the social media space, I think SEO's are doing an incredible job out there.
Susan Bratton: Where do you think they're doing a good job? In a particular area, like are they really juicin out Facebook or what's happening with SEO.
Stephan Spencer: Well you could break it down into some of the major areas, like social news sites, like Dig...um, social bookmarking, Delicious...they do excellent in both, um there's also the social networking environments like Facebook and MySpace, which I don't see as much interaction with the SEO's there because they can't actually get a whole lotta juice outta that, in terms of, when I say juice I mean link juice because that's what really powers your rankings, is if you get really great inbound links into your site and if they are really organically, grown so to speak, in that, uh, you didn't try to buy them or, or engineer them in some fashion you just had something really fantastic and this, this is where Linkbait comes in, its just some, some bit of content, whether its a, a video, a viral video or a blog post, a top ten list, a funny photo, anything that's just so irresistable for bloggers to link to and, and people in the social graph to, uh, uh, make popular, that's where the SEO community, that's where SEO's really excel.
Susan Bratton: That makes sense to me and one of the things we're gonna talk about is this social media power user hacks and I wanna talk about stumbleupon, I don't really unerstand how it works and I'm hoping you'll explain that to me. But before we go there, you have done a lot of posting about SEOPR and about social media public relations. At a very high level explain the difference to our listeners, and then tell us what you think are the things we should be focused on, with both of them, if we can do a couple of things or master a couple of things, what are the things that really make a difference for us?
Stephan Spencer: K, so I am a huge fan of social media PR, but, only when its done right and there's so many occasions where its done wrong, I, as a blogger, get a ton of, uh, pitches from PR firms and they're just clueless. They clearly have not even read my blog, or even visited it once, it just, it sounds so generic, the pitch that they send and its just basically a regurgitated press release and, and bloggers just shut down when they get that, and so, you wanna basically build repor over time, and make it clear that you actually are a follower of their blog, maybe a, a follower on twitter as well, so you start engaging with them slowly, you have some insightful comments on their blog, you connect with them on twitter and maybe have some interactions there and then, over time you can pitch them on something without having to do the hard sell. And just say...hey, heads up, here that uh we've got something that I'd be interested in having you present to your listeners or your readers, whether it's a podcast or a blog and that can be a lot more succesful than just the hard pitch, the generic hard pitch.
Susan Bratton: So the reality is we can't read all the blogs of all the bloggers that might have an audience that would care about an announcement that we have. Customizing a crafted e-mail pitch to you as a blogger, is a good thing. We can read your blog, we can fund the hooks in there that make it a connection to the news that we have, say thats all we have to work with , you know, a lot of people don't have time to get deeply connected to every blogger who's out there, yet it might well be something, that could catch your fancy. So then what, what do we do?
Stephan Spencer: Well I think perital principal, applies here, the eighty-twenty rule.
Susan Bratton: Ok.
Stephan Spencer: So you really need to focus on the wheat and forget about the chaff, so maybe there are a hundered bloggers in your field of interest. Don't try to go after all hundred, instead pick the most influental. And then build relationships with them, that'll be alot more successfull, like there is a launch of a solar powered backpack, really really cool, and so you could.
Susan Bratton: What's it powering?
Stephan Spencer: Well, you could recharge your cell phone, your Ipod, whatever.
Susan Bratton: Ok.
Stephan Spencer: While your out in the woods somewhere.
Susan Bratton: Or your Iphone of course, you have to recharge that thing three times during the day if you're at a conference or something.
Stephan Spencer: Yes I have the 3G and I know that full well so, but it's a really cool piece of technology.
Susan Bratton: geek gadget.
Stephan Spencer: Right, and the way they got the word out, and it went very successfully, is, I believe it was tree hugger that they first put the word out to, and they have a good relationship with the blogger at Treehugger. That got picked up at Gizmodo, or no it got picked up by Coolhuntingblog, which then got picked up by Gizmodo. So it was kind of like an echo chamber right, where.
Susan Bratton: It got radiated out because they'd hit a high level blogging post.
Stephan Spencer: Right, and these bloggers up the food chain, read each other, so it just kind of went out into the blogospere, so if you've really focused on the connecters, if you've read 'The Tipping Point' by Malcom Gladwell, you know, the connectors are really powerfull and you just have to pick and choose who the right connectors are to reach out to.
Susan Bratton: Well this is for another show but one of the things I still really struggle with is understanding the traffic on a given blog and which blogs I should be prioritizing, I mean it's pretty easy to figure out that you know, if you're product's going to fit on Techcrunch that's great, but if it's not, where do you go if you got something slightly more esoteric, I still think thats a black art. So maybe you could do a post on that if you've got some answers.
Stephan Spencer: Sure, and I think, just real quick, if you went to Alexa dot com and Compete dot com and Quantcast dot com, you can see some of the more popular blogs, what their traffic is, and it, between the tree you can kind of get a good sense, not terribly accurate, but a decent sense on what's popular, as far as which blogs.
Susan Bratton: Ya, if again they're in something thats not in a steep vertical, you know, there's a lot of long tail PR being pitched out there. So lets go on to the SEOPR piece of it, are you a preponent for putting a lot of key word density in your press releases, when you say SEOPR, what is it we are supposed to be doing that makes it a search engine optimized press release.
Stephan Spencer: Right, so if you are using PR news wire, PR web, or something to sydicate out your press release, just think about what key words are um, your potential audience going to be typing into, Yahoo Yahoo news, Google news, or whatever its is and if youhave those key words in the title of your post or your press release, you have the keywords in the body copy, preferably high up in the body copy right so if it's.
Susan Bratton: First paragraph.
Stephan Spencer: Yup, that sort of thing, and then you can pay extra with these different sevices to get links embeded into the press release.
Susan Bratton: Is it worth it?
Stephan Spencer: Yeah,
Susan Bratton: You want the link to your site or to anybody that's mentioned in your release, in there.
Stephan Spencer: Yeah, just bare in mind that an embeded link isnt necessarily going to end up on, let's say, Yahoo news. It will end up in PRweb if you are using PRweb, but a lot of these sites that repost press releases, they don't carry over.
Susan Bratton: They scrape the links..
Stephan Spencer: They remove the links exactly.
Susan Bratton: So is it really worth an upgrade for that? I don't know.
Stephan Spencer: I think so because PR web, or PR news wire, whatever service your using.
Susan Bratton: It's one more inbound link.
Stephan Spencer: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: So for eighty bucks which is the lowest price at PRweb you're at least buying yourself some inbound links.
Stephan Spencer: yeah. And you're not gonna just, rock the house up, off,or...does that even make sense?
Susan Bratton: Rock the house? Rockin the house makes sense! I like doin that!
Stephan Spencer: Ok so, it's not gonna change the world exactly.
Susan Bratton: Rock your world, thats what you were trying to say.
Stephan Spencer: Exactly, thank you very much. It's not going to rock your world, that's where Linkbay comes in, if it's like the most amazing piece of content that people just can't help but link to it right, so there's an example where some guy just went through a bunch of Flickr posts, he just did a search for urinals, or urinal, and then collected the funniest most bizaar pictures of urinals and formulated a blog post out of that, and named it like "funniest, most craziest urinals in the world", and that got like four-thousand some diggs, made it to the front page of Digg and got a ton of links.
Susan Bratton: Interesting. So what about social media PRs, that where you're pitching bloggers or is there something else about social media PR in your mind.
Stephan Spencer: well there's actually a um, I wish I could remember the URL of it but there's a template for social media press release.
Susan Bratton: Right, and, we'll, I'll put that on the blog post and our related links so we'll catch that after the show and it'll be on your episode page. And I know which one you mean and I forget the company who did it, and the format.
Stephan Spencer: Yeah, and I thinks that's just really brilliant to be able to think out of the box of a traditional press release, where you have the title and the main body and your blurb about the company and contact details and for immediate release blablabla, you know? it's just very boiler plate, where as a social media press release goes a step beyond, it thinks about how the blogger who's going to consume the press release is maybe going to use it, they might want to have sound bits to go with it, you know, if they're doing a podcast, if they could have the ability to pull some audio content for example, and you have that audio content readily available with a URL for them to grab it and not have to do any hard work to get it, you know? These sorts of elements are great, it just makes it so much more easier for me as a blogger and a podcaster to just pull that content in and turn it into something much more usefull than just boiler plate, regurgitated.
Susan Bratton: So for a social medial press release I think that in a way, it's slightly misslabeled in that alot of what I see is that it's a multi media press release, that it has audio clips, video clips, good images attached to the release itself. So, to me that's where it seems like it's going and that's what I focus on when I do a press release, as well as keyword density which is the SEO part of it, those are good combinations. Alright, I'm conscious of our time, I want to talk about this, social media power user hacks, and you have a really good blog post on your blog which is stephanspencer.com, so I would recommens that our listeners go there and read the whole darn thing, but I want you to tell us about the LinkedIn power user hacks, lets start with that one before we go to a commercial.
Stephan Spencer: Ok, so first of all, what I mean by hack, it's not trying to gain the system, it's not trying to break in, you know.
Susan Bratton: No black hat stuff.
Stephan Spencer: Right, your not trying to be a hacker here, your just trying to save time and be more effective, and more efficient, so on LinkedIn for example, you could imagine that your network is uh, the larger it gets, the better your reach is gonna be, as long as it's a good network, your not just.
Susan Bratton: Accepting everybody.
Stephan Spencer: Exactly, but it's usefull to have one or two, what are called LIONs, linked-in open networkers on your network, and the reason why is that, one of these lions could bring in, well they could have five, ten-thousand contacts on their network and that signifigantly increases your reach if sending out lets say, a job notice or doing in linked in questions and answers.
Susan Bratton: So, let me ask you how that works. Alright lets just say I'm linked with a lion, how big do you have to be to be a lion by the way, what size?
Stephan Spencer: Ah boy, I think maybe it's five thousand and up, I actually don't remember the number.
Susan Bratton: does LinkedIn reward you for that when you get to a certain level, they make you a LION, or do you.
Stephan Spencer: No, there's actaully there are lists out there of top most LinkedIn folks, and thats actually how I found my LION that I added, my guys name is Flip Filipowski, he's a VC, he has tonnes of contacts and he is one of the most LinkedIn individuals on LinkedIn. He has I think, over fifty-thousand.
Susan Bratton: So then how does it work? So I use LinkedIn answers alot for DishyMix, and so alot of listeners have seen when I'll post Ill say something, you know, if I have enough time coming up I'll say something like: I have Stephan Spencer coming on, he knows everything about how to make your blog more visible in the SEO world, send me questions in advance to the show and if I can use it, I'll mention you on the show. And I usually get between six and twenty responses to that. I have about twenty-five hundred people connected to me on linked in now. When I post that, who sees it? How does that part work? that's the part I don't understand, cause you get this choice of actaully picking people that you send it to so you could either just post it or you could post it and then pick people, I'm trying not to pop my P's here, pick people, why am I saying that I'm a P popper! And then I try to pick people that would be likely to wanna ask me a question, how does that manifest in the LinkedIn eather?
Stephan Spencer: Yeah so, what you wanna think about is kind of like concentric circles, so when you have your network of lets say fifty people or two-hundred people or two-thousand people, that's one connection away, right? So they're your first degree.
Susan Bratton: Ya, your first degree.
Stephan Spencer: Then there's your next concentric circle in that second degree, and that's a much larger circle, many many more people.
Susan Bratton: So do people see that when I post my answer? which is really an ask.
Stephan Spencer: That I don't know, it totally depends on what your actually doing, if you're doing LinkedIn answeres or you're sending out you're paying for a job notice, let's say you found a job opening at your company, that goes out farther that your first set of connections, past the first concentric circle, I dont know if it's second degree or third degree, but each service that's paid for or free with linked in, reaches differently, so I don't remember which ones are which.
Susan Bratton: So one of the things you also said was to put your e-mail adress in your name, I've seen alot of people do that and I was always worried that I would attract to many people if I did that, but you think it might be a good idea if you're trying to build up your network, to make it real easy for people to send you an e-mail.
Stephan Spencer: that's right, because if I, as a, you know, as just an industry person don't have your e-mail address and and I don't have the time to dig for it on your blog or website, I want to very quickly be able to add people on, if I don't already have you in my adress book, just that could make difference between me reaching out and connecting with out or not, is having that e-mail address right there for me to add you.
Susan Bratton: Ya.
Stephan Spencer: Well I just think that it's up to you to decide weather you want that person or not. So you can easily say no, I'm not gonna, just gonna archive that.
Susan Bratton: One of the things I've noticed is that Facebook is soo much better for adding people and confirming or ignoring people than LinkedIn, LinkedIn is slow, comparitively for me you know, clicking, then going to the site, the site loads more slowly and then you have to, once you say yes then you have to go to their record, then you have to little address thing, then you have to download that, and that takes time, and then you have to add the Vcard into your address book. It's kind of a pain in the butt, but Facebook doesn't even let you even add them into your adress book you can't even copy and paste it ito your address book, so it's quick to add but slow to add in, it's deffinately not perfect.
Stephan Spencer: Ya, well each social service will offer different features right so LinkedIn, one thing that's great about that is you can choose when you put in your URL of your blog and of your website, you can actually change the anchor text, the underlying words, it doesn't have to say: my blog. It can actually say the name of your blog, especially if there's good keywords in there. So you just choose other when your filling out your profile or updating your profile so there's my website, my blog etc. and then there's 'other' box, and when you choose that, that gives you a whole a box to type in exactly what you want to name the site that you're linking to.
Susan Bratton: Ah that's good, I'm going to go update my profile today.
So we're gonna got to a commercial break, and when we come back, after we thank my sponsors who I really appreciate for letting me have fun with you on a weekly basis. I wan't to get to Twitter and some power user hacks for Twitter, and then I want to get right into the top SEO mistakes we make with Blogs, and how we can make our blogs soar in the search engines. So stay tuned, we're with Stephan Spencer, the founder and President of Net Concepts, talkin tech stuff which is fun fun fun and we'll be back in a minute I'm your host Susan Bratton.
Susan Bratton: Alright we're back, thank you so much for listening to my sponsors, I'm your host Susan Bratton and we're with Stephan Spencer who is the President of Net Concepts and we're live in studio. So when we left for the break Steph and I, I was gonna ask you about Twitter but I actually think that twitter's simplistic enough to use that people could stumble upon what I'm stumbling upon, I don't understand how it works, how I could work it. Explain.
Stephan Spencer: Ok so first of all you need to think like a user and just basically if your sittin, kind of a vegeing out and you're not really in a very productive mood you can go channel surfing. So with the tool bar, the stumble upon tool bar installed you just start channel surfing and you've specified what your interests are, so you get pretty good recommendations there based popularity, you know, how many thumbs up and ratings that various items got in the catagories that you're interested in.
Susan Bratton: So it's a website discovery tool.
Stephan Spencer: Ya.
Susan Bratton: Ok, so it's a user powered recommendation engine.
Stephan Spencer: Yes. And what you find is, a website owner, when you get stumbled and you get your good rating and everything you're gonna get much more sustainable traffic if you were to lets say reach the front page of Digg dot com. Because on Digg they don't have a very, they just have a very short attention span, collectively, you know, these alfa geeks that use Digg, and the Digg storm will come and it will disapear just as quickly. So you know, big spike in traffic in just twenty-four hours or fourty-eight hours later it's like back to normal.
Susan Bratton: We're done with you.
Stephan Spencer: Right, so with StumbleUpon, you'll get more of a sustained traffic audience coming in from the StumbleUpon toolbar.
Susan Bratton: So how do I make my site Stumbly? How do I promote my site to rise it in the ranks of StumbleUpon?
Stephan Spencer: Right, so just like any other social network or social media site you need to build up your reputation and it's really important to have good friends. So when you have friends you can do things like for example, send them items to Stumble in the toolbar. Actually the way the toolbar works, at least the last time I checked it, you actually can force the item to be viewed by your friend, which can be really annoying if your doing this to people that you dont have a strong relationship with, so you dont want to be spamming through StumbleUpon, but if you have really good friens and you say hey check this out I just posted this top ten list to my blog, o you mind stumbling in? As long as you're doin it within reason and not, you have a really good relationship and you're not doing it all the time to somebody, that can actually be very powerfull cause then thy'll start the ball rolling and people on any social graph whether it's Facebook or StumbleUpon or Digg or whatever, by having powerfull friends who'll give you a thumbs up for a piece of content then that trickles down very quickly and like on Digg, if you don't have a power user submitting a piece of content, then that can make all the difference in the world. I know a power user who is in the top ten of all Diggers and pretty much anything he touches is gold. So at least eighty percent of everything he submits reach the front page.
Susan Bratton: Could we get his e-mail address right now?
Stephan Spencer: Ah no!
Susan Bratton: Haha, I had to ask, you know I had to ask! Alright I want to move on cause I'm conscious of time here, we always have so much we want to cover. Top SEO mistakes, what are the things that we can do to make our blogs more visible in the search engine results.
Stephan Spencer: Yes, So I'm gonna break it down into three major areas.
Susan Bratton: Ok.
Stephan Spencer: Inbound links, and then internal links within your blog and then thirdly the content on the page. And when I say on the page I don't just mean your permalink post on the page itself, I mean on other pages of your blog itself aswell, like your catagory pages, your tag pages, your date based archives. So let's start with the inbound links. So when people link to you with really sub-optimal, from a SEO stand point, anchor text, you know, the underlying words say thing like "check this out" or the name on the blog or the URL, if the name of the blog doesn't have any good keywords in it, that's not really nearly as helpfull as if they actually named that piece of content and then linked directly to that permalink page with those good key words in the underlying text. So if you can go back to the bloggers that you have stronger relationships with, who have already linked to you, you look at the anchor text that they've already used there are tool out there that can actually show you what the anchor text is in these inbound links. And there's a tool called "Back Link Analyser", and it's available from tools.SEObook.com, I don't make anymoney by suggesting this, it's a free tool.
Susan Bratton: That's great, we give these links all the time. Back link what?
Stephan Spencer: "Back Link Analyser" or BLA for short
Susan Bratton: Ok.
Stephan Spencer: And what it does is you just tell it the URL of your own blog and it will collect a whole bunch of inbound link URLs and go to each URL individually an look for the anchor text and the link pointing to you.
Susan Bratton: Ok.
Stephan Spencer: So you can look at that and say oh, this one you just "click here", I don't want to rank number one for "click here"
Susan Bratton: We won't.
Stephan Spencer: So you basically just mind your own back links. Now then, lets move on to internal links. Now this is a really important area, most bloggers don't have an optimal internal linking structure. They're overly reliant an the date based archives, and unless you really want to rank for January two-thousand and eight, I would actually cause those pages to not end up in the index, an instead send the spiders through your tag based taxonomy instead.
Susan Bratton: How do we do that?
Stephan Spencer: Well you can use what are called 'no follows' and the link to your date based archives, or your various months and years if you have that in the side bar, you just add 'rel equals no follow' to all those links. So if you go into the HTML and you say 'a h ref equals' whatever, you just say 'a rel equals no follow' 'h ref equals' whatever. So it's that simple, and you just change those links to be nofollowed and it's as if the links didn't exist from the search engin stant point. So your instead sending the spiders through the other links in greater force basically.
Susan Bratton: And by 'other things' you mean the things that were catagorizing our blog posts.
Stephan Spencer: Exactly, so the catagories that are listed in your side bar, those links will be counted as more important that if you just had five-hundred links on your home page and here are ten of those five-hundred. So as you reduce the number of other links, through the 'rel equals no follow' you're actually sending more juice, more link juice, through to those remaining links. So you send them through the catagory based archives, you send them through the tag based archives, so a tag cloud, I am just a huge fan of having tag clouds on your blog, and Wordpress has tagging by defauld now, as of two point three I think. So it's a fantastic feature that everyone should take avantage of, then when a spider sees a tag cloud and they visit one of the pages that are linked, it's actually a tag page which are the latest ten posts or whatever posts that have been tagged with that keyword. And what you can do from there is make a sticky post, which kind of helps set the key worf theme for that tag page. So you want to have that tag page that's about let say, 'applenews', right, so that's the tag, 'applenews', and you taglet's say fifty posts with 'apple news' and so those fifty fifty posts will be the last ten that appear as your tag page for 'applenews'. You wanna make sure that page sings to the search engines for 'applenews'. How do you do that? You make sure that's in the title tag, right, up in the blue bar, above the back and foward buttons, you wanna make sure it starts with 'applenews' not 'blablabla welcome to my website, oh by the way this page is about applenews', you want to make sure that it's in the H one tag, you know, heading one tag, which is just kind of like the headline of the page, so that helps set the keyword theme as well. And then if you have an intro paragraph that says 'hey I cover everything about all the apple news that you care to eat' you know, so, everything from 'Steve Jobs to the Iphone blablabla' and so that kind of intro paragraph could be made to appear everytime on the page by making it a sticky post, it's a regular post but you've made it sticky by using a plug-in like 'Adhesive' or 'WP sticky' if you're on Wordpress. And then, no matter how old that post gets, it's always at the top, it's the very first post.
Susan Bratton: Huh, ok, and you wrote about this sticky posts in your blog posts, so alot of this that you are telling us on the show is already on your blog post.
Stephan Spencer: Yes.
Susan Bratton: Ok, thats perfect, and that's Stephan Spencer dot com. stephanspencer.com. What is the other piece the content piece, you talked about inbound links, the sticky, the nofollows, that's a little confusing all that stuff by the way, like I wish you could just come and fix my blog. But the content piece, what's that?
Stephan Spencer: Well actually I already led into that when I was talking about making a tag page sing to the search engines?
Susan Bratton: Ya.
Stephan Spencer: Every page of your site should sing to the search engines, and so having a really good title, title page, having really good head liner, H one tag, and having the begining of the post talk about that keyword rather than at the very end of the post, whatever the page is, it doesn't have to be a permalink page, it can actually be a tag page or a catagory page or your home page, every page of your site is an opportunity to rank in the search engines, so you wanna make each page sing to the search engines for whatever unique key wor theme that you are going after. So you dont want to try an go after everything with one particular page right, so if you have fifty keywords that you really care about, you wanna pick your battles and say alright, with my home page I want to go after these couple or three or four major keywords, and with my one of my top ten most popular posts of all time and it's on i dont know, 'applenews' or whatever, gonna go take a piece of apple news, I wanna make this page sing for 'applenews'. You know you just pick your battles, you make each page sing for whatever the song is that the page is about. And so one of the most important elements for any page of your site is the title tag. It is givin the most wieght out of any piece of text on the page. So you really wanna put your best effort into the title tag.
Susan Bratton: And whenyou're talking about a blog are you talking about what we name that blog post as a title tag or not.
Stephan Spencer: Well usually thats what most people figure because by default the post title is displayed on the permalink pages as part of the title. But the problem with that is you might want to come up with some short pithy, really engaging sort of post title, and it does't have all the right keywords in it, maybe you're missing some kind of important synonym, or the verb tense would be better as a different verb tense because it's much more popular as a diffenent verb tense, sort or singular versus plural. So you really need to work in those right synonyms and the right verb tenses and the right word order and you really want to make that count in the title tag, or make that best effort in the title tag. And so you might end up with a twelve word title tag that has a couple of synonyms, and it's not like the most optimal, pithy short n sweet kind of post title. So now what you want to do is you actually want to decouple the two, you don't want to have the post title to automaticly become your title tag. And for Wordpress there's a plugin that I wrote and my developers Netconcepts maintain and it's called SEOtitletag. And what it does is it not only allows you to have a custom title tag, so there's now a field when you write a post, there's a field that says title tag, so you can just work in a synonym, you could imagin if you were an e-commerce site, alot of the e-commerce sites will say things that nobody searches for, like kitchen electrics, who searches for that? or pant, who searches for pant? I want pants.
Susan Bratton: Right, it's a retail thing.
Stephan Spencer: Ya, so the same thing happens in the blogosphere, your not using the most popular keyword or the plural is much more popular than the singular, so you can just change things around, have a unique title tag that's not the exact same as your post title. So you use SEOtitletag to accomplish this, and it goes a step beyond that as you probably have maybe hudreds or potentially thousands of old posts and it's going to be quite daunting to go back and go to edit each post individually, so the plugin provides a mass edit admin. So you log into your admin.
Susan Bratton: So if you're uploading an old blog.
Stephan Spencer: Ya well, install the plug and you think, I want to SEO all my old posts, I wanna have really good keywords in my titles of those posts. So you go to the manage tab, and then title tags, and now you can see a whole bunch of post titles, one after another all in one page with a field next to each one, so you can just bang though a whole bunch of titles and write custom titles to hundreds of posts at a time, just hit the submit button and all those posts get upated with a new title tag.
Susan Bratton: And then do you think that will help increase your search engine rankings?
Stephan Spencer: Big time.
Susan Bratton: So that one thing is worth spending time on.
Stephan Spencer: Absolutely
Susan Bratton: How do you, we're outta time, what I really wanted to know was how do you actually install a wordpress plugin? That's really remidial, and I know you're laughing at me right now, you got a little snicker.
Stephan Spencer: oh well
Susan Bratton: But can you give us that last little zinger and help us figure it out? In case we don't know? Is it super hard?
Stephan Spencer: It's alot easier now.
Susan Bratton: Where's a good place to find someone who will pimp out your blog and do all this stuff?
Stephan Spencer: Thats a good question, rather than give a list of different vendors, I would suggest you go to Buisness Blog Consulting dot com, and that's a group blog I'm actually one of the bloggers on that blog, and just ah, I think then what we'll do is just in the next short while we'll probably post something about, it's been a long time since we posted a post on there about how to find a vendor and what to look for and where to look.
Susan Bratton: Great so you'll put that up for me a I'll link to it.
Stephan Spencer: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: From the Dishymix blog so that everyone who's listening who's like 'aww I wanna do all this but I have no idea how to do it' can find someone to help them.
Stephan Spencer: I will do that.
Susan Bratton: That's what we need, we need a genius like you helping us, hahaha, that's perfect. Well Stephan thanks so much for covering so much ground with us today, I'm gonna make sure we link to all the detail in the blog posts that you have created especially to BuisnessBlogConsulting, so what we can do is we can find our buisness blog consultant and we can send them to your blog posts a say 'those things, those top ten mistakes we're making, which we're probably making all of, could you please fix those for us? and then perfect, so you've opened up the world to us today and now we just have to make it happen.
Stephan Spencer: That's right.
Susan Bratton: Thanks so much for coming to visit and thanks for coming to do a live studio show, it was really fun, I appreciate your being here today.
Stephan Spencer: Well thank you for having me it's been great.
Susan Bratton: Good I liked it too thank you, alright, well, DishyMix listeners, I hope we provided, I know we probably spun your brain out, thank you for letting us do that and like I said, all the links and all the deets will be at DishyMix dot com, I'll make sure that all you have to do is just search for Stephan Spencer, or even Stephan, he's my only Stephan so far. We'll make sure you can find all the goodness there and get some help if you wanna take your blog to the next level and this is your host Susan Bratton, have a great day and I'll talk to you next week.