As we all wind down for the Christmas week, I thought I’d revisit some of the best comments left on my guest blog posts over the year…
Image credit: Flickr
Regular readers of my Twitter feed will know that I am a regular guest blogger, often appearing on websites such as Search Engine Watch, Econsultancy and Search Engine Land, as well as writing here on the SEOptimise blog.
Some of the responses to posts I write are extremely knowledgeable and often provoke informed debate.
A blogger like me values these insights from readers, because a blog is not just a one-way street and the comments can often really enhance the usefulness of a post.
So, as the year draws to a close, I wanted to shine a light on some of the best comments left on my blog posts. Here are my top comments from 2010:
Digital marketing careers advice
Where? My Econsultancy post ‘So you want to work in SEO?’
Who? Vivien Underwood, training and operations manager at Econsultancy
Why it’s top: Vivien responded to other comments suggesting that there is insufficient digital marketing training in schools.
She offered an opinion – that most teachers and careers advisers will not be sufficiently “clued up”, gave some examples of university courses that cater to the industry and even briefly reviewed them.
Then Vivien offered some excellent advice to school leavers on standing out from the crowd.
“I’d advise school leavers to consider digital specific work experience during their undergrad studies and then look to do a postgrad or professional digital marketing qualification which includes lots of sessions with practitioners and project based work to hone their skills.”
Social is not commercial
Where? My Econsultancy post ‘How not to use Twitter, by Rentokil’
Who? Deborah Lewis, PR adviser at agency The Hero Machine
Why it’s top: In one short example, Deborah highlights the major issue with how so many companies operate on Twitter and other social platforms.
In fact, I have since used this example when illustrating the limitations of social marketing, and the importance of using it correctly to gain long-term benefits rather than short-term wins.
She said: “Just because really good friends will help you paint a spare room or clear out a basement doesn’t mean you should go out there, pretend to make friends in order to get a house cleared or decorated. And that’s why I think corporates get it wrong on social media – they’re not being social, they’re being commercial.”
There is no ‘magic formula’ for SEO
Where? My Search Engine Watch article ‘Why Google is Never the ‘Only Customer’’
Who? Heather Lloyd-Martin, head of copywriting agency SuccessWorks
Why it’s top: Because Heather and I share a passionate dislike for those who believe that there’s a magic formula to writing SEO-friendly copy. There’s no ‘trick’ to online copywriting, it’s down to creating useful, informative and shareable articles that will be popular online.
Heather admitted she felt my pain.
“Like you, I’ve chatted with clients who believe they have the magical formula for SEO content – normally something stupid like an 1,000 word article with a specific keyword density. When I talk about writing for customers, persuasive copywriting – heck, even writing something that folks would want to read – a typical response is, ‘Well, we just care about Google.’
“Hunh? I mean, we all love those happy Google rankings. But if a page doesn’t convert – and worse, the writing is so bad that it hurts the brand – the company doesn’t ‘win’. In fact, they’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of money for nothing.”
How staff can stonewall an SEO campaign
Where? My Econsultancy article ‘Five things to consider before starting an SEO campaign’
Who? Russell Hogg, of web design and print agency Superheroes of Search
Why it’s top: Russ elaborates on a problem so many SEO agencies encounter – a lack of staff buy-in among their clients. A lack of co-operation from a company’s full-time staff can actively harm an online marketing campaign and this comment highlights the real issue. A successful relationship between agency and client requires work both ways, as Russ explains.
“At the end of the day, the client needs to understand the needs of any agency they employ, and vice versa…it’s a 2 way street, but all clients should expect, as a minimum, detailed benchmark reports on a regular basis so the client can at least keep tabs of progress…or not!”
Linking online and offline marketing
Where? My #JUMPchallenge post on SEOptimise ‘ How to achieve excellence in joined-up marketing’
Who? Matt Owen, social media producer at Econsultancy
Why it’s top: My post explored the benefits of linking online and offline marketing efforts, and how that could be achieved. It was written from the position that many companies already have splintered efforts – techies on one side and PR experts on the other.
What Matt highlighted was where this splintering often begins.
“Especially good to see emphasis on team integration. Too often companies find their departments at odds as the organisation scales up, so it’s incredibly important to keep people in the loop and invest them with a set of core values rather than overly segregating them.”
This advice will help some readers prevent the problems and join up their marketing from the start.
The importance of communication
Where? My Econsultancy post ‘Five reasons your client hate you’
Who? A corporate identity from ambergreen Internet Marketing
Why it’s top: My post highlighted five different reasons an online marketing agency might have alienated its clients and this comment makes the list because it highlighted the issue that underlined most of the points I made.
“Of course Clients do not like to be patronised by agencies using jargon or treating each client in the same way with the same formula. No business is the same, and until other agencies realise this they will not give clients the bespoke, tailored service that is needed.”
The comment also reiterated the importance of communication across the whole of the company, as SEO is not an isolated effort.
“The larger the client, the more departments and people who will need to be involved and on board with any marketing or PR plan and the more important it is that an account manager exists to understand the layers of the business, after all, search does not work in a vacuum.”
Guest blogging in action
Where? My Econsultancy post ‘Link building for SEO beginners’
Who? Ashley Friedlein, CEO at Econsultancy
Why it’s top: My post advised creating interesting articles to encourage blogs to accept your guest posts without sponsorship. It also recommended making as many industry friends and acquaintances as possible so that more people are willing to publish your articles.
What I liked about Ashley’s comment was that it highlighted to readers the value of guest blogging – by drawing attention to the benefits of my own guest blog post.
“Very sensible advice. And, of course, this very post, on this very site, is actually an example of what you say in action! Valuable/interesting content + you’ve made friends with us (we like you back ;)) + link to your blogger profile which in turn links to your member profile which has SEOptimise – Search Engine Marketing which is nice link with nice anchor text. And now look… I’ve gone and linked to you again ;)”