I was recently interviewed by Craig Crossman’s and Carey Holzman’s Computer America, the United States’ longest running nationally syndicated talk radio show about computers. In HitTail interviews such as these, there is always that moment where the interviewer absorbs the fact that we’re heavily advocating blogging software for effectiveness in natural search, sometimes to their dismay. People with pre-existing websites, that perhaps pre-dates the blogging craze, justifiably don’t want to be left out of the HitTailing fun. But for natural search to be mainstreamed as a marketing tool, it needs to be accessible to the average marketing Jane or Joe. And blogging software provides that simplification.
So is the use of blogging software really so important for HitTailing?
Yes, but only if you want the amazingly stunning sort of results that are reported around the Internet.
The field we know of as search engine optimization, or SEO, is about technical and fundamental fixes to websites, no matter what platform they were published with, be it FrontPage, DreamWeaver, or any one of hundreds of web publishing platforms. It’s tough work. And doing the big natural search fix takes what more marketers have got, and they often get intimidated enough by the experience to flock to pay-per-click, or PPC, services like Google AdWords. But what is not commonly known is just how staggeringly effective blogging software is for search. Given a publishing platform that’s already naturally predisposed to doing well in search, the challenge really just becomes choosing the correct writing topics that are poised to do well. Enter HitTail Keyword Tool.
Recently, I’ve been explaining HitTailing as analogous to those quarter-drop machines in ski-ball joints. You know, the ones where you choose where to drop the quarter based on how close the already existing piles of quarters are to falling over the edge. The rakes move back and forth, nudging the quarters over the precipice, and all you need do is drop a quarter and steer it down the chute, landing between gyrating rake and pile of quarters in the hopes of knocking a nice little pile over to the edge.
Well, that’s HitTail. Every website is exactly like these quarter-drop machines, with keywords ready to perform on your site. All you need to do is drop the right blog post into your site, launching that page to the top of search, and allowing already existing piles of searchers on that term to fall into your site (instead of your competitors’).
But then, why blogging software? There are tons of reasons. But primarily, because every page you publish is an opportunity to target another term, and sustaining this over time is your best way of getting the snowball effect to occur. Adding new pages is a much better method than going back and optimizing old pages, and blogging software is the perfect friction-free publishing platform to push out lots of pages.
But there are more reasons, such as the long archive pages where blogs compile your weekly or monthly posts onto one page. Think about the random combinations of words that are possible when multiple diverse blog posts run on one page. Word combinations are occurring on your blog archive pages that are occurring nowhere else on the Web. And the determined searcher who is unsatisfied with the top-10 results on those terms will keep searching, until they find you.
And when they do, you had better be listening.
Because if you’re not, the next visitor will have to go through the same highly unlikely series of page-loads and click decisions to find you. But now that you know that you CAN and indeed SHOULD be found on that new word combination, there’s no reason to make people hunt for you. When you work that exact word combination into your blog headline, the blogging software is SO WELL OPTIMIZED for search, that that’s generally all you have to do to get the next visitor who searches on that term. Keep this up over time, and you get the idea.
This is the exact same thing as turning your entire website into a writing topic suggestion box.
But most analytics software doesn’t think of it as a suggestion box. Instead, they show you the useless top-10 lists of what keywords are mostly leading people to your site. Well, why should you care about what is already working for you, if your goal is to make more relevant terms lead to your site? You’re not even interested in the super-long list of keywords that some analytics packages can let you pull, because what would your basis be for evaluating which keywords are on the verge of working for you?
Sure, many SEO’s do this manually, but keyword research is a labor-intensive process. And you’re always looking at the same keywords over and over. All keywords that you’ve ever considered should work as a filter for all keywords you might consider in the future, so you’re always looking at something new. We call that Keywords Forever, and it’s a feature of our imminent premium service.
So, CAN HitTail work with other Web publishing platforms? Sure, but the level of suggestions will be much lower, because they don’t have long archive pages. The level of hits will be lower, because not every page gets a search-friendly URL, matching title tag and headline, and a bunch of automatic perfect internal link-structure. Blogging software has been doing most of those tricks since they came onto the scene in the early days when Blogger was owned by Pyra. And those little SEO optimizations that weren’t there, got perfected when MovableType, and later Word Press came onto the scene. And the final item to seal the deal is how whenever you post a blog entry, it pings a bunch of news crawler-alert systems, in something very akin to Search Engine Submits of yesteryear.
So you see, the case for using blogging software as a means of getting used to natural search as a mainstream form of marketing is very strong. With the right perspective and the right tools, it can be as easy to manage a natural search campaign as a PPC campaign.