Website Magazine Interviews TopRank CEO on Blog Marketing

Website Magazine recently published an interview with TopRank CEO Lee Odden on blogging, microblogging and the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose:

TopRank, a Minneapolis, Minnesota search marketing agency is truly one of the best when it comes to natural SEO, social media marketing and new media PR. Website Magazine contributor Dante Monteverde quizzed TopRank’s CEO Lee Odden recently (a sample is below) on the keys to driving blog readership, the efficacy of micro-blogging, and what attendees of SES San Jose can expect from his session titled “SEO Through Blogs & Feeds.”

Why should a website start a blog? Would you justify starting a blog for purely SEO reasons?

“As for adding a blog to a web site in the commonly understood definition, it really depends on a number of factors: Does the company have something useful/meaningful to say? Are there staff within the company that actively read industry blogs? Can resources be dedicated to the blog on an ongoing basis? (IT, writing and editorial, monitoring, marketing, PR). A company should not bother with a blog if they answer no.”

The key to gaining readership with a blog is developing fresh usable content on at least a weekly basis. What if you don’t have time to write blog posts? Is it ok and/or when should I consider using and employee or hiring a 3rd party to write and/or manage my blog?

To keep consistency and frequency of posts on a blog, it makes sense to create an editorial guide. This can be reflected by the blog categories as well as a document that outlines types of posts to be published on a regular basis. For example, readers will appreciate knowing that every Wednesday there will be some kind of poll or every Monday there’s an interview or list of practical tips.

Recently there has been a shift toward sites like Twitter.com that promote micro-blogging. What kind of effect do you think this is having on blogs and more importantly SEO?

I think tools like Twitter, FriendFeed, Plurk, etc do distract people from blogging. I also know that there are a number of smart people who use them together. I don’t mean auto publishing blog posts to Twitter with Twitterfeed, as that kind of micro content is ignored. But personally recommending resources to a Twitter network can generate tremendous exposure if it’s done right and relevant to the audience. Twitter can also be a great tool fro sourcing content to put on blog posts

How much SEO value do you put on the syndication of your blog? Other than getting traffic and exposure from your blog can you derive any SEO value from your blog through RSS Feeds?

For us, the SEO value from RSS distribution comes in part from syndication with embedded links back to the blog. For blogs that publish feeds using their domain name in the url, links to the RSS feed can drive some link popularity.

Can you give us some insight to how your run your blog: www.toprankblog.com?

Actually, we started as more of a news blog but changed a few years ago to focus on original content. With the help of Jolina, Thomas, Jessica, Mike, Ashley and Julie from Toprank, Online Marketing Blog covers conferences such as Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, Pubcon and other events put on by PRSA and the DMA.

You can see TopRank’s presentations on “News Search SEO” and “Blog SEO” at the Search Engine Strategies in San Jose this week on Wednesday. Read the full interview at Website Magazine.

A leading Minneapolis Internet marketing agency, TopRank provies holistic online marketing solutions to Fortune 1000 companies in the Twin Cities and cost to coast in the U.S. and Canada.

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