And surprisingly enough, given the strength of our highly tuned powerhouse of a blog, we don’t actually rank highly enough for the phrase yet either, currently lingering around the bottom of the first page to top of the second. Clearly unacceptable for a superior seo services ranking machine like ours. …So what better as another SEO Demo than using our thoroughly integrated blog to address both these issues now. As a consolation, this image is ranking Google #1 for blog integration (image search) ..click the link to try it.
Much like our spec ops brotherhood we don’t really agree with spoon-feeding lazy people with a step by step “how-to-do-something” especially as the somethings are often of potentially great value. We are often torn between spelling it out in detail, and concerns about then having to face and compete with many and much more highly tuned competition.
So we tend to drop big clues, and expect (hope) that:
- lazy / unintelligent people will miss or ignore them..
- the deserving will do their homework or research and fill in the gaps themselves.
..So this isn’t a definitive “how to” either, this is still much too valuable commercial information to just publish in a lazy mans list for all and sundry to use, and as your parents probably told you “nothing worth having comes easily” or some regional variation of this theme, and it’s true here too.
We’ve been closely monitoring user behaviour on the site and blog for a while now with Woopra and have to say that in all honesty we are a little disappointed with the general behaviour and lack of attention span that most visitors exhibit.
We can tell with reasonable accuracy who has gotten what (hidden and hinted at) points by tracking page behaviour and timings, and while there are definitely some that “get it” (a big shout out to the Brazilian crew, our Hungarian, Romanian and Portugese understanders) ..the majority just wander in gormlessly, and skip on through learning nothing much.
But that’s ok, on reflection that’s how we like it, and from now on things may actually be getting even more cryptic, ” ..horses to water” and all that..
- this is possibly even modern day Darwinianism at work we think?
Anyway, lets start out by defining what we mean by “blog integration”, as although it is, it is also not simply installing a blog on your website on …site.com/blog/ and posting and expecting it to just happen.
Firstly, apart from the technical issues involved in making the thing into a useful business tool rather than just a long term waste of time and resources, you will need to master basic “blog user level” SEO which is not difficult, (we do a one-day seo training course package to this level) and this will be critical to the ultimate success of your business blog integration project.
We do not intend to go into that now, nor the multiple reasons why you should be thinking about integrating a blog into your business website, and will assume that you have done your research, understand the potential benefits and are now wondering how to go about it, and will pick it up from there.
It should also be noted that as we are talking about “integration” that it is implied that you already have a website, whether static or dynamic, otherwise we wouldn’t be integrating would we? – we would be setting up a CMS Based website, with blog, there is a difference.
The first question is whether to set it up as subfolder or subdomain, ie. domain.com/blog/ or blog.domain.com/ This is an important choice of direction, as the behaviour of the blog in the (Google) charts will be largely dependent on this decision, both having advantages and disadvantages and the decision will be largely based on your market, your competition, your current situation, and future aspirations.
There’s a long thread on webproworld with some good points made (and of course the usual deterioration into slagging matches too ) that covers most of the pros and cons of the two different options.
For us it was really a no-brainer, as the true potential of integration implies being able to feed new content through established rankings power very quickly, and the sub folder route is best suited to this. There are also considerations regarding the current levels and status of the main site though, and if you are likely to be taking the blog in very different directions to the main site at times, then the subdomain approach can also very work well.
The next choice again is platform, and for us again, another no-brainer, it’s WordPress SEO power every time. The extensive list of themes alone take some beating, but the plugins, widgets & flexibility, combined with reasonable (not awesome by any means) SEO effectiveness straight out of the box make this a very comfortable easy choice.
It goes without saying of course that you now install (and properly configure) the usual SEO plugins, All-in-One-SEO, XML Sitemaps, and generally set up the blog to the standard “best practice” SEO settings. Its not the aim of this article to address that, as there’s a million how to “SEO your blog” articles, some better than others of course.
The awesome Joost de Valk’s Definitive guide to better rankings for your blog is probably the most comprehensive, and SEO Design Solutions 20 wordpress seo tips would also be a good place to start if you need help with this.
Ok, so we’ve got our shiny new wordpress theme set up, on our sub folder or domain, now what? ..well, guess what, this is where you get to do some of that homework
Integration-wise, a few things you should probably be thinking carefully about now are:
- routing of existing website’s internal (real) PR to the new blog
- most effective methods of linking between website and blog
- building layer upon layer of keyword relevance into theme “clusters”
- tags, categories, and how maybe .htaccess and 301s could maybe play a role?
- keywords, sniping, grouping, theming & siloing
- utilising the full SEO power of RSS to its max.
- ensuring that scapers picking up your feed definitely link back to you
- any theme mods that may help your SEO and efforts in general.
And without getting too specific, as a general theme now, PR, silo-ing, PR “mirroring” and redirection around the site with better (optimal) anchor text in particular..
Recommended further reading – setup / operational tips are loosely spread about in..
From the SEO Spec Ops group
We’re relatively confident that by spreading the information about and making people think, look and work for it, that only the just and worthy shall receive. The rest of you lazy-ass “now” generation – as you were, you can get back to your PSPs, Wiis or wtf ever else it is deteriorating your powers of concentration and critical analysis these days.
And if you should stumble across this post in a “blog integration” search and just want someone else to sort out the finer details of your blogging search experience, well you know where to mail, dont you?
Ibiza over and out.