Linda Bustos, well-known as the blogging expert at Elastic Path, explained the mysteries of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to packed session at Northern Voice today. Essentially, differentiating a site through keywords is a great way to get noticed by Google and other search engines, but it's important to be specific in keyword choices. Bustos used Kris Krug's Static Photography site as an example, citing his use of "Vancouver fashion design" and "Vancouver fashion photography" in keywords, blog posts and throughout the site as smart SEO. Links, which spread throughout the blogosphere and extend the reach of a site, are another prime SEO tactic, as is tagging on social media sites such as (in Krug's case) Flickr. Blogrolls (lists of favorite sites that link back and forth to each other) will eventually result in referrals from other sites, which will again push up your rankings in search engines. In terms of Web 2.0, Bustos cited local start-up Kinzin, which specializes in social networking for families. Their Facebook apps, Are You Normal and These Are My Kids, create awareness and exposure for their main site, and are a vital component of their online social strategy. Another way to gain exposure is to get coverage from online influencers like TechCrunch or Mashable by submitting news to those sites. Guestblogging on sites that are in tune with your own interests or expertise are another great way to drive exposure while enhancing your online reputation. Viral marketing is another alternative.
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