Posts tagged seo
Looks like it was a busy week for searches about Park City Mountain Resort over Labor Day weekend, could there possibly have been some other reason for the big jump in searches but perhaps it was simply the great work of the marketing team?! Goes to show, don’t forget to set up subscriptions for Google Trends reporting for your favorite, or just interesting, web searches, so you can tell what searches might be ramping up without looking into Google Webmaster tools reports:
Google Webmaster Tools:
Note that there wasn’t much increase in the clicks to the site for this search, so I probably would not have noticed the increase in searches without delving into the deeper in Google Analytics’ Search Engine Optimization reports, and even there, I wouldn’t have been able to see how individual search queries performed, just overall queries. Be sure to use all the tools at your disposal and even if you’re not using a tool regularly, be sure you have it configured to alert you if something interesting comes along – you have the full quiver available, use it!
I’ve blogged a fair amount about the importance of SEO in the past, but I just read a wonderful post by SEO Moz’s Rand Fishkin titled “SEO 101 for Travel Bloggers“. For many regular readers of the Resort Marketing Blog, I would think that a lot of what Rand details is pretty fundamental and basic stuff, but it is a great refresher of what to do and since it is focused on the travel space, it does offer some ideas and examples that any resort looking to get into blogger, or simply ensure that their blog is set up to get maximum SEO benefits. Besides if you click through and read the post, you can come back and post a comment on my new favorite (for the moment) acronym: SETAPR – I loved it when I first read it, and it just made me chuckle again…
I’ve had my blog on a self-hosted WordPress.org installation for about a year now and I really like it. Particularly at a time when I hear that WordPress.com had an issue that caused them to go offline for over an hour, which means that there were over 10 million blogs that were inaccessible for around an hour on this past Thursday evening.
- Pick a theme that is clean and fits your content. There are a lot of pretty or tricked out themes to choose from, remember that it’s your content that people will be looking for so choose accordingly.
- Think of a category and tagging scheme that (once again) is appropriate for the content that you are posting.
- If your theme doesn’t have it’s own SEO support built in, add a plugin like HeadSpace2 or Greg’s High Performance SEO.
- On the SEO topic, make sure you have a site map plugin, like Google XML Sitmaps and have submitted and had your site verified with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo!’s Site Explorer although Bing will very soon be providing search results for Yahoo!
- Setup Feedburner for readers who want to subscribe to your blog either via RSS or email, this also is a way to track how and where your RSS content is consumed. There are plugins to help setup the RSS part and even to display your feed stats in your blog’s dashboard (Feed Stats for WordPress).
- I also recently began using a plugin that puts a line of text in the footer of your blog’s RSS feed, which will allow readers who are reading your post in an RSS reader or even inserted in someone else’s post to know where the content originated at.
- Be sure to license the ideas and content that you publish on your blog with a Creative Commons license.
- Do your mobile readers a favor and add a plugin like the WPtouch iPhone Theme to allow your iPhone, Android and other smartphone users a mobile optimized browsing experience.
- If you’re like me and reference your own posts, it’s good to install the No Self Pings plugin to avoid getting a ‘pingback’ each time you link to one of your own posts.
- Keep your WordPress software install as up to date as possible in order to keep up with the most recent security patches and also consider installing security plugins like Secure WordPress and WP Security Scan
Up until this past summer, I was using the free WordPress.com blog hosting solution for this blog at ericinparkcity.wordpress.com. I decided to move to a self-hosted option at www.ericinparkcity.com, in order to test out more options that are available in the WordPress.org package as well as to see what SEO options would be available on one platform versus the other. I’ve posted about organic search before, but this past week saw some wild results that I’d like to share.
I don’t check stats on my old blog very often, but when I looked last week, I saw a huge spike in traffic:
To cut to the chase, the Olympics Men’s Halfpipe event took place on February 17, and Shaun White won the Gold medal. How does that explain this spike? Well, last winter I wrote a post about the Silverton private halfpipe that Shaun was training on, and while it got a few views then, it was indexed nicely by Google. Indexed to the point where, according to Google’s webmaster tools, last week when searching for “shaun white private half pipe” my post showed in position 7 and when searching for “shaun white half pipe” the post was in position 8. Side note – after the competition, many major publications posted stories on this so my post is no longer on the first page of SERP (search engine results page).
I need to really look into why I wasn’t able to transfer this traffic to my new blog. However, this is such a classic case of the long tail of search that I had to write it up, as it clearly demonstrates that it’s hugely important to create, publish and continue to create content online, because you never know when it might be of interest. Simply put, now is the time to “Publish or Perish!”
While browsing through some tweets from the USOC Communications Twitter feed the other day, I came upon the International Olympic Committee’s Blogging Guidelines for the 2010 Vancouver Games and while I give them kudos for coming up with such a document, I have to say that I think this document was produced almost completely with the intention of protecting the Olympic sponsors and media outlets than trying to leverage the power of social media.
Happily, the IOC acknowledges that blogging is “a form of personal expression” and at they do permit (some) blogging by Accredited Persons at the Games. Now, to my understanding, anyone that participates in the Games, and gets any sort of credential, from athletes, to coaches, to volunteers is considered an Accredited Person – this is certainly a number that reaches into the tens of thousands. I’m sure more than a few of these people already have a blog and I know for a fact that there are many of them ‘micro-blogging‘ on Twitter or Facebook. I am sure that there will be more than a few Accredited Person who will post photos of themselves inside the venues and most likely of the events that are taking place in these places…what will the reaction of the IOC and VANOC be?
What gets me is how odd, and in some ways, nonsensical some of the restrictions are. Check this one out, according to the document the words “Olympic”, “Olympics” or similar can’t be used in a domain name (I get that), but could be used in a URL , but “only during the period during which these Guidelines are applicable”. So, go ahead and name your Olympic experience blog – MySitesName/myOlympicExperience but then it has to change after March 3, 2010?! Really, really odd and it doesn’t seem to further any goal, unless the IOC’s sole goal is to completely lock down any SEO for these words, and even they can’t do that completely.
In any case, it’s good to see this as a starting place and I’ve been interested to find the NBC has setup a page on their NBCOlympics.com site where they’re tracking a good number of American Olympians’ tweets. Twitter itself hasn’t been left behind either as they’ve expanded their Verified account listings to include a special Verified Olympians list. I’m looking forward to a bunch of fun social media coming out of the games over the next few weeks!
Here’s a quick observation on the speed of Google in terms of targeted SEO. I recently posted about the Interactive Content Editor position that we’re in the process of interviewing for at the resort (sorry, the application process is now closed). I wound up Googling the phrase “Interactive Content Editor” as I’m in the process of fleshing out some details of the jobs’ flow and I was amazed at the results:
Yep, in just about two weeks our blog post about the job has vaulted to the top listing in Google for that exact phrase and the top five listings are all for our job posting! Wow, that’s impressive, it got me to head back to Google to check again on a search for the phrase”Resort Marketing Blog”, and, drum roll, yeah – this blog is number two and my old blog on wordpress.com is number one – woohoo! So, the lesson here is to be aware of the power of blogs on targeted Google search results.
I’m excited to be heading to San Francisco next week for the Inbound Marketing Summit taking place on April 28-29. Inbound Marketing is an interesting change, because unlike traditional marketing, which focuses on finding customers and pushing messages to them, Inbound Marketing focuses on ways to be found by the customers.
If you haven’t already, you need to pay attention to Inbound Marketing because traditional marketing isn’t working the way it used to:
- We DVR our favorite TV programs and skip the ads
- We have SPAM filters that block unsolicited bulk emails
- Telemarketing has been crippled by do not call lists
- Newspapers and magazines are going out of business by the day
The answer isn’t finding a another way to push your message, it’s changing how you reach your customers. The way to do this then, is to help your customers find you online through Inbound Marketing. The heart of any Inbound Marketing effort is to create high quality content. This content can reside on a website, a blog or any other sort of media including video, photography or audio. The next step is to ensure this content is findable via Search Engine Optimization techniques so that your content appears organically in searches – which is still how most people find products online. Finally it’s a natural step to use the wide variety of social media tools to provide additional support and context to your SEO efforts. By the way, if my description of Inbound Marketing isn’t completely clear to you, check out this great post by Rick Burnes on the Hubspot blog for a more comprehensive explanation.
So hopefully you can see why I’m excited to see where the great slate of speakers at the Inbound Marketing Summit think that Inbound Marketing is going in the coming months and I’ll be sure to put together a post or two to sum up what I hear.