As part of my newly adopted daily ritual, this morning I was doing my best to drown out the sounds of Yo Gabba Gabba (don’t ask) and enjoy my coffee and blog reading. Surprise, surprise – I subscribe to a ton of blogs. Blogs about SEO. Blogs about PPC. Blogs about blogging. Blogs about business. Reading all of these blogs keeps me abreast of changes to the search marketing industry as a whole, and specifically helps me to keep my finger on the ever changing pulse of SEO. This set me to thinking: With the mass amounts of information out there, what are the best methods for keeping up with industry changes in a meaningful way?
Starting off with the obvious one here. You’re likely already on this train as you’re reading this blog! However, I’ve got a few tips for helping you to narrow your blog-reading scope a bit to make the most of this must-do activity.
- Read the News: No, not CNN. Read SearchEngineLand.com, SearchEngineRoundtable.com, MarketingPilgrim.com and you’ll have a solid understanding of the major comings and goings of SEO (and SEM in general).
- Taste the Tactical Flavors: There are 100s (a low estimate) of SEO blogs to choose from for learning tactical strategies. But there are a few that I consider required reading. Read SEOmoz.org, SEOBook.com, SearchEngineGuide.com and SmallBusinessSEM.com. This is but a small sampling of what’s out there, but this is a good mix of flavors, and you may learn more than just SEO along the way. Oh, and keep reading SEOBoy.com, too!
We talk about social media here at SEO Boy from time to time. Whether you utilize SMM as a part of your SEO efforts, you should at the very least become a social media voyeur. Nothing dirty, just use social networks to watch and absorb what the experts are saying, doing and linking to.
- Niche Networks: To get the most bang for your SEO buck, make Sphinn.com a part of not only your vocabulary (it’s pronounced spin), but also your daily routine. Sphinn is a hotbed of fresh ideas, brand-new tactics and great insider information. Just be wary of the comments – you’ll need to take a few of them with a grain of salt.
- General Networks: Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Just to name a few. Create a profile, then seek out the top SEO participants on each network and start following. When you get your sealegs, join in the conversation. There are few activities that rival the educational potential of actively participating in the SEO discussion in the social media space. Here’s a starter list for Twitter in no particular order:
Go Old School
If you find that reading blogs and tracking SEO industry news on the social networks isn’t cutting it for you, maybe you need a blast from the not-so-distant past.
- Subscribe to Magazines: There’s a certain kind of tactile pleasure that I get from reading magazines. I love the glossy paper, bright photos and holding the words in my hands. For me this usually involves National Geographic or Popular Mechanics, but there are some great search marketing publications out there, too. Definitely check out Website Magazine (it’s free) and the Search Marketing Standard.
- Reach Out and Touch Someone: Maybe, if your shrink says it’s OK. If you really need to get to the bottom of something, or find that simply reading industry materials is not enough – try contacting an SEO expert directly by phone or email. Attend a search marketing conference and network with the top minds in the industry. Industry relationships can go a long way with helping you stay in touch with what’s happening in SEO. Here’s a quick list of SEM conferences:
Finding ways to keep myself up-to-date on the SEO industry has at times been a challenge, but always a priority. Because of the massive amounts of available information, I can’t stress enough the importance of finding the channels that work best for you – and sticking with them. Wherever you can filter out some of the noise and focus on what’s important, it will only work to your advantage. I hope you find these tips helpful.
Do you have any suggestions for staying up-to-date on the changes in the SEO industry? If so, leave me a comment!