What Blogs, RSS Feeds Bring To The SEO Table

    August 13, 2009

Tending to a website can take a lot of time and energy, and the people who run them deserve nothing but applause.  At the same time, though, blogs and RSS feeds can really benefit an SEO campaign, and so a session at SES San Jose focused on how and why to incorporate them.

Coverage of the SES San Jose conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Stay with WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.

Amanda Watlington, who’s the owner of Searching for Profit, suggested integrating blogging into your marketing efforts.  She warned that you can’t view this as a tactical SEO project, and "me too" positioning and content won’t do the trick.  Instead, think about the long term.

Watlington recommended creating an editorial battle plan to maintain quality and sustain readers’ interest over a period of time.  Try to treat every post like a miniature campaign, too, using social media to announce your posts and extend your reach.  And show that you value your readers by responding to their comments in a timely manner, and perhaps highlighting popular posts.

As for some SEO-specific tips, she proposed leveraging the SEO benefits of the blog by customizing the templates, and using a keyword list when building content.

Dixon Jones, the managing director of Receptional LTD, then said his piece.  He started by pointing out that blogs can be pretty significant; Dave Naylor’s blog has ties to more than 6,000 referring domains, for example.  People who are just getting started may want to know that Jones favors Drupal over WordPress, as well, and believes it’s important to use multiple bloggers.

With regards to RSS feeds, Jones also added that RSS feed widgets can confer SEO benefits.

And that brings us to Sally Falkow, who’s the president of PRESSfeed.  She emphasized that search engines pay attention to sites with RSS feeds.  "Share this" links are also helpful in a strictly human sense, since people will be able to drive new audiences to your website.

Next, the subject of blogging came up again thanks to Lee Odden, the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing.  Odden named a full eight blog link tips, starting with "quality in, quality out."  "Link out" was his second recommendation, since links are often seen as a currency among bloggers.  Tips three and four are then rather reciprocal: make a big list, and get on other big lists.

Recommendation five is trickier, but make a killer tool if possible.  Spread goodwill (and your name) by writing guest posts, too.  Power up retweets, and don’t forget to network offline.

Finally, we have Jim Hedger, Webmaster Radio‘s lead blogger.  Hedger mentioned that he assigns each show a unique RSS feed, title, tags, and descriptive text.  But Hedger stressed that, whatever approach you take, you must know your audience.  From there, you can tackle the fine art of narrow-casting to a wide audience or wide-casting to a narrow one.