Articles by Mike Seidle

About Mike Seidle

Mike Seidle is one of the founders of Professional Blog Service and currently is Director of Development for DirectEmployers Association. Mike currently serves on Professional Blog Service's board of directors.

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Here are my most recent posts

How to Help Google Identify Authors of Content on Your Site

Google is changing the web again. This time, they are asking webmasters to begin identifying authors in a way that allows:

  • Google to track who is the author of content
  • Google to track about the author pages (called profiles by Google).
  • Authors to authenticate their profiles (author pages) on multiple websites.

If you are an author, this is fantastic… and if you are a content publisher, it’s even better because Google is now starting to look at who writes, not just the cold math behind an article.

To acknowledge an author, you use the HTML5  rel attribute in a link pointing to an “about the author” page on the same website like this:

Article written by <a rel="author" href="../authors/mikeseidle">Mike Seidle</a>

Because most authors have profile (about the author pages) on multiple websites, Google has a way to link them together. The first step is to put a link to the author’s website on the profile with a rel=”me” attribute like this:

<a rel="me" href="http://mikeseidle.com/about">Read more about Mike</a>

On the page mikeseidle.com/about, we have to insert a recriprocal link back to the above about the author page (profile)  with the rel=”me” attribute:

<a rel="me" href="http://problogservice.com/authors/mikeseidle">How To Help Google Identify Authors of Content on Your Site</a>

Before all you search engine optimization experts get your hair on fire about reciprocal links causing bad things to happen to your page rank, here’s the link on Google’s Webmaster Tools that shows that it is required by Google to do a reciprocal link.

As of the time this post was written, most blogging software does not support the new author tagging features yet, so you’ll either have to write a plug in or embed your own links. I would expect to see support for author and profile tagging to be included in future versions of WordPress soon.

 

How To Turbocharge Your LinkedIn Profile

Web pages are useless without traffic, and the same is true about LinkedIn profiles. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for new customers, a job or just more connections, no traffic = no opportunity. Here’s a simple strategy I used to increase the traffic to my LinkedIn profile page from 3-4 people per day to 70-80 people per day (that means 27,000+ visits in a year). Feel free to make it your own:

Step 1: Figure out what your goal is with your LinkedIn Profile.

This isn’t that hard. Your LinkedIn profile is a resume with a couple of places you get to be creative, and there are really only a few practical uses for LinkedIn. Most likely your goal is one of these four: [Read more…]

If You Want Your Content Republished, Have a Republishable RSS Feed

If you have a blog or other content source, 1/3 of the functionality is its ability to handle RSS feeds (syndicated news feeds). RSS is a vital part of the blog ecosystem, and if you are neglecting it, you are giving up 30-50% of the return on investment you should be expecting from your blog. Isn’t RSS automatic? Well, yes and no.

Most blogs have some kind of RSS publishing capability (an RSS feed is part of what makes a blog a blog), and most have it turned on by default, the problem is that most blogging software have horrible defaults settings that result in your RSS feed being useless to everyone other than desktop news tickers.

When you neglect your RSS feed:

  • You minimize the search engine optimization effect. You aren’t getting backlinks from people republishing your article, and therefore, aren’t getting any link juice.
  • You diminish your site’s ability to harvest traffic from social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and niche sites on Ning and Groupsites.
  • People may be stealing your articles without sending traffic back to your site or crediting the author.

If you want your content republished, have an RSS feed.

So what does “republishable” mean?

  1. The full article text is included. If you have a WordPress or Typepad blog, chances are you are set for the summary feed which gives exactly 200 characters of each article, which is good for exactly nothing. Go to Settings… reading and change your feed from summary to full article.
  2. Links and picture sources are fully qualified. That means all links and images point to to “http://yoursite.com/super-cool-content.whatever” and not to “/super-cool-content.whatever.” It also means that when your article is republished, the links work. If your site runs Joomla, you’ll have to have someone who is comfortable with PHP make a change to the code that generates your site’s RSS Feed.
  3. An about the author block is included. This way, you will always be credited. Don’t do a lot of crazy styling – just keep it simple as many RSS aggregators (the software that grabs your feed and includes it in another website) strip most formatting out, leaving links, and basic HTML intact (stuff like the bold and italics tags). Include your name, a one line description of the author, and it is a good idea to provide a link to your blog, and even your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page.
  4. A copyright statement is included, if needed.
  5. Turn photos off in your feeds. Photos sized and selected for your blog are often not edited correctly for other people’s websites. If you use Typepad, you’ll have to make a settings change.
  6. Make sure your logo is set. Some sites will publish your logo next to or above your site’s headlines. Joomla site owners, chances are right now your logo is the Joomla logo.
  7. You have a clear set of rules on your site that tell others how they can use your content. A lot of blogs use Creative Commons licenses that make it a snap for people to understand your intent and their legal obligations.

Accuracy in Web Metrics is a Myth. Go for Real Time Analytics

It’s online marketers’ dirty little secret: Web metrics are not very accurate. None of them.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

Users can block script and pixel based systems and proxy servers (servers that cache content to reduce bandwidth use on networks, like say, your ISP’s or corporate network) prevent your server’s weblog from recording every page view (I wrote in a little more detail on accuracy issues here). On top of network issues, there are some basic software limitations in browsers and metric packages that prevent every click and visit from being counted.

How bad is it? Somewhere between 4% and 12%. And it’s almost, almost always missing clicks, visits and page views.

So, do web analytics have value? Yes. But despite what you may think, their value isn’t counting every single click you get on your site. It’s for identifying trends. Knowing what is happening and what has happened in aggregate has great value. Even with a 6-12% margin of error.

The problem is, many web metrics solutions are on a time delay (like Google Analytics) that prevents you from seeing what is happening now. On the internet “NOW” means everything. And if you want to see what is happening minute to minute, your options are rather limited.

Here’s a situation that happened with one of my clients:

We had a client who had just started a $90,000, 48 hour advertising campaign for a major affiliate network. We didn’t realize it, but some bad code was preventing people coming to a landing page for step 3 in the registration process. A real-time analytics package allowed us to see the problem and fix it in about 15 minutes, but a once-a-day analytics package would have only pointed out the problem halfway through our 48 hour schedule.

Should we have tested the landing page better? Yes. Reality is that marketing sites are often done on much tighter deadlines than traditional software development and sometimes testing isn’t that great. That means real time metrics are critical.

If we had waited 12 hours for metrics to become available, my client would have lost 25% of sales and 25% of the money they had spent on the campaign.

Real time matters more than you think. If you’re not investing in it, you need to consider it.