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Friday Funday: SEO as a tactic, owning social media, and new spy tools

Hello America! (as the late Bernie Mac used to say)

Its that time of the week again, and I wanted to be sure I added some better stuff this week after having to rush out the door last week.  In this week’s column I wanted to address the definition of SEO, what employees need to know about their social media, and a sweet search engine for researching your competition.

The Definition of SEO

I am currently working with a client who is looking to improve her business’s bottom line and we have had some good conversations as to what I do.  A number of my clients have been approached by SEO firms all telling them the same thing, and they want to know how what I do is different from what these companies do.  Bottom line: Dark Horse Communications is a marketing business that uses online mediums to help its clients.  DHC uses SEO as a tactic to help increase traffic to sites, but understands that it is one of a variety of tactics to help improve web results.  SEO is the optimization of a website to be found by search engines for specific items, whether they are keywords, media, etc.  While I think SEO is important, a more important concept is SEM, or search engine marketing.  SEM is the tactic of using search engines to reach your intended audiences through various means.  One use might be through targeting search engines by demographics, another by specific keywords your audience uses.

Let’s create an example.  I would like my website to get traffic for the keyword “Chicago Small Business Marketing.”  Making a page with that specific URL, using the keyword on that page, and including the keyword in the title are all ways to optimize the site.  Finding others relevant keywords, creating owned media for that keyword, and advertising on Chicago Business Search Engines are tactics of search engine marketing.  SEO is internally focused while SEM focuses on the internet around your site.

Whose Line is it Anyways?

Recently a colleague of mine lost her job, and the incident was notable to me for another reason than she was my girlfriend.  The company she worked for does not have a string social media strategy of any sorts, and before she was terminated they asked her to delete all of her Facebook contacts that were clients at the clinic.  I don’t want to get into particulars, but the event points out the need to have a clear understanding of who the social media belongs to when you work for a company.  In this case Courtney’s page was used to promote services and engage with clients; as an independent contractor she was responsible for her page alone.  When she was signing her termination agreement the company asked that she not make any mentions of her new employment for up to 12 months on any social media channels.  When working for any company or client where there is co-hosted social media marketing like there was in this case, everyone must know who owns what before moving forward.

New Tool of the Week

Blekko.com offers sweet ways to look up your competitors back links and only requires a free e-mail signup.  The best part is the way they score referring sites; instead of a logarithmic page rank scale like Google’s, they score sites on a variety of factors that are more useful for research.  Another cool thing of Blekko.com’s SEO features is that they will look at your “neighborhood” so you can see how you are “living” next to.

That’s all this week.  I won’t be posting next week as I will be home in Kansas City for some political events. Have a good one!