Content Marketing, Search Marketing

My Blogging Checklist…

Last week I had coffee with Brandon McGee, a VP with Huntington bank that specializes in Mobile Banking. Brandon’s blog has some great search engine ranking – thanks to his concentrated content as well as the tight niche he’s blogging about.

We chatted about his blog and even talked mobile for a while, he’s provided me with some cool insight as to where the industry is going and it’s quite exciting. Here’s a synopsis of our conversation – I wanted to share it with everyone.

  • Niche, niche, nichemicro, micro, micro. I’m jealous of Brandon’s choice in blogging. I had always though casting a wide net would get me more fish; but the truth is quite the opposite. Because I don’t have a very tight niche, I compete with a lot of other sites. Brandon doesn’t have to compete (yet). For those of you thinking about blogging, there’s a lot of noise out here so try to find your own frequency!
  • Selecting the domain name. Brandon is currently hosted with Blogger. This is where the ‘yet’ comes into consideration in my previous point. If someone decides to blog about mobile banking and they snag a great domain name, Brandon could be pushed down the Search Engine results page as other people rise up with targeted domain names.
  • Hosted vs. hosting. Brandon’s choice in Blogger was a great one to get him up and running. He’s got his niche and he’s consistently blogging on great subjects. The blog is definitely a winner and is fostering him some attention. However, I don’t think it’s fostering him as much attention as it could be if he were to host it himself. Hosting on a platform like WordPress will allow him to theme his layout, do some in-depth search engine optimization, as well as ‘own’ the audience making their way to his site (instead of the distractions of Blogger).

Here’s one example that I provided Brandon, how his content is displayed in a SERP. If you look at how his posts and links are indexed and displayed in Google, there’s an important element missing:

Brandon SERP

Notice all of the post descriptions? Not very compelling, are they? With WordPress, a plugin such as the All in One SEO Pack allows you to customize the excerpts that are associated with your links in Google. This allows you to write some targeted, keyword-rich, and compelling content that will drive more clicks through to your site.

Here’s what my links look like:
Marketing Technology SERP

I don’t proclaim to be any guru of SEO, but the ability to modify the content that is displayed within your Search Engine result is an important one – both the the search engines, and to the folks using them.

Since ecommerce and banking share some similar compliance issues and seem to be evolving to mobile, I’m looking forward to digging in to Brandon’s blog a little deeper. He’s already pointed me to some great mobile industry resources.

10 Comments

  1. 1

    While I agree niche is the way to go, from the perspective of starting a blog I think it’s a bit risky.

    I would be more inclined to cast my net a little wide and then narrow it down as my blog progresses… carve out my niche. As a safer route to success.

    • 2

      Hi Kelly,

      If I could do it all over, I’d have 4 to 6 blogs – one with each topic area. I think people shop for feeds the way they shop for produce… they don’t grab the mixed bag, they grab the bag they want. 🙂

      This would allow me to concentrate my content as well as cross-promote the sites. The problem with going with a wide net is that you’re really working against all the niches already out there. I don’t think you’re giving your content a fair chance.

      Doug

  2. 3

    Yea, actually I see your point of view. And while it will probably be harder to build up front, it’ll provide a better pay off in the long run. (Like anything really)

  3. 4

    Douglass,

    Thanks for the reminder for the All in One SEO Pack – I presume I write the copy in the Title Section off the post underneath the Tags?

    Best wishes from England!

    Jon Moss

  4. 6
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  6. 9

    I’d love to take credit, but my Seesmic plugin is actually a Sidebar plugin to show your last videos. I agree – who ever wrote the Seesmic comments plugin is a genius!

    Hi Ray!

    Doug

  7. 10

    Great, succinct article.

    I’m relatively new to blogging and just switched to a self-hosted WordPress theme called Suffusion that has ALL IN ONE built into it. Awesome.

    Also thanks for the posts.

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