The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
The Zen of Search
the Image Freedom blog
With Lent starting soon, it may be a good time for us here at Image Freedom to examine our sinful ways and help our fellow website owners do the same.
The Image Freedom team has likely been guilty, at one time or another, of some of the horrid behaviors listed here, both in our personal and professional branding:
Lust. Greed. Envy. Company bloggers can be guilty of these capital sins and many other vices. Chris Lister at SEOMoz helps company bloggers avoid destructive habits such as blogging just for the sake of blogging (Gluttony) and making the blog all about you (Pride).
We at Image Freedom struggle with this on our own blog. We want readers and especially potential clients to get to know us and feel comfortable, but how much personal sharing is too much?
Lister reminds bloggers, “If you are like me, you probably enjoy a little sin and occasional debauchery in your [life], but when it comes to your company’s blog, it is best to practice virtue in your posting routines.”
Unfortunately, many strapped-for-cash churches or non-profit organizations really phone it in when it comes to creating their web presence. Instead of paying for professional web design, they’ll delegate their website to whoever volunteers.
From automatic background music to cheesy animated images to the dreaded two years out-of-date community calendar, Catholic blogger Matthew Warner takes his fellow church geeks to task for sins against website design dogma. He bluntly suggests that churches should “start spending more money and time on your website than you do on donuts.”
You may think that your clever company tagline, “The Strength To Be there” is cute, but visitors who stumble upon your landing page for the first time won’t be able to figure out what you’re offering if they have to decipher some cryptic slogan.
This is a difficulty for us SEO professionals who are hired by long-established companies. The client may be very attached to their awkward company slogan or ambiguous-sounding company name and URL. Aaron Kupferberg at Website Magazine exposes this common mistake and several other landing page blunders, such as having a link to the Home Page on the Home Page!
If you would like to add to the list of sins or confess any of your own past deadly website sins, we’d enjoy hearing them!
Recently, our very own Darth Backlink, Dan Sealana, compiled a list of 50 things that we could blog about and e-mailed it to me. One of the main tasks I gave Dan when I hired him was to help keep up the Image Freedom San Antonio SEO blog. Our content has truly been king, and folks who read the blog already trust us before they contact the company about SEO services.
One of our earliest clients was inspired to hire us after reading our blog. She read about my struggles as a new business owner, dealing with injuries, establishing business ethics, and avoiding personal labels. She read them all and was impressed by my honesty.
The client was already sold on us before I walked in the door. She trusted me. Of course the reality had to measure up to the blog persona, but my virtual content gave me a leg up when I sat in her office and pitched our SEO craft.
I recently attended the release party for the new book by Ann Hadley and CC Chapman, Content Rules. The book is about allowing your content to do the talking for you – letting your content be your wingman in that first pitch meeting.
Ann Hadley and CC Chapman did a fantastic job delivering that message, and I can’t recommend their book more. I’ll add this book to my shelf along with my two favorite marketing books of all time, Purple Cow and Rework. All three of these excellent books remind us how important it is to keep great content on our Image Freedom site.
So my challenge to you today, the same way Dan challenged me with his blog topics list, is to come up with a list of your own. What are 50 things that you could blog about? Remembering to blog and making time for writing is difficult, but having topics pre-listed has been a fantastic resource for us.
Our blog has been a better marketing tool than any business card or marketing flyer. We’ve opened more doors by sharing freely the information and ideas that make us who we are. “You need to start blogging” is a very old recommendation now, but old advice is sometimes still the best.
Lists of 50 things are awesome. If you need help writing yours, check out Dan’s original blog.
If you had to write 50 blogs, what would they be?
Matthew Egan is the President of San Antonio SEO consulting firm Image Freedom. When not dancing to the blues, Matthew helps web pages like yours get more traffic through content driven Search Engine Optimization.