Because search engines tend to reward blogs in several ways, corporate and ecommerce sites ought to look at the possibility of adding one or more blogs. As Stephan Spencer underscores “SEO: Blogging Your Way To The Top”, search engines’ ranking algorithms revolve around links, and the blogosphere revolves around interlinking. As a result, adding corporate blogs is a great way to garner links.
Search engines also love fresh content, and blogs, by definition, are constant sources of new content. If written correctly – or more specifically interestingly – blogs can also provide wider link bait and garner links from outside the blogosphere. Search engines, of course, reward for good, inbound links regardless of whether they’re from other blogs.
So, where does a company begin if it wants to add a blog to its website? The answer: Choose a blog platform. (Next month, we’ll discuss the importance of knowing who will blog, how often, and about what.) While free services like Blog.com and Blogger.com offer simple-to-build interfaces, a company is better off using a platform that lives on its own servers and is under the same domain as the corporate site. Some of the best ones are free. Both MovableType and WordPress offer free software that can be run from most common servers.
Although MovableType is fine, my personal recommendation is WordPress, because – currently – it seems to have more SEO-friendly plugins (small upgrade programs that add functionality to the main software) that make blogging faster and easier. For instance, my company, Netconcepts, offers three free WordPress Plugins that provide various shortcut functions and software upgrades. The most popular is SEO Title Tag which allows users to uncouple post titles from title tags. There are many other SEO-friendly plugins out there, most of them free. Taken together, they cover the majority of blogging issues.
Finding factual substantiation for a post or making references to support an expressed view are common elements of blog writing. Use of graphics can also be a concern, especially when you’re attempting to verify that you have the right to use a given image. To help, Yahoo! has developed Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress. This plugin finds keywords in your post as you type and integrates a preview of potential links for those keywords. If the link is applicable, you can opt to automatically link the corresponding text to the content. If the link doesn’t fit or you don’t like it, you reject it and it disappears.
In addition, the Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress plugin also recommends Flickr images, based on your textual content. As with the text links, if you like an image, you can choose to embed it into the post, without copyright worry. Since the plugin references Creative Commons licensing graphics, it suggests on only sharable Flickr images. The plugin bases these choices on the key themes of your post, and it includes proper attribution to the original image creator, automatically. Unhappy with a suggested graphic? Give it the ax, and the graphic won’t appear again.
While it’s true that Yahoo! has a financial agenga behind this plugin, it’s also true that the Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress plugin is a fantastic option for corporate or personal bloggers. This is especially true if the blog is not designed as a direct revenue stream, but as a way to add fresh content and quality link bait to an ecommerce site. If this plugin seems too impure for you, don’t use it. The point here is this: Having a blog is an important element of any corporate site, and the Yahoo! Shortcuts for WordPress plugin can make the experience fast, simple, and valuable.