It’s time for part two of my recap of the Central Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference! (For part one, please click here.)
Recognize anyone? Ha! I started the day trying to use my phone to take notes since so many people were using phones and laptops. I quickly realized I’m not that tech savvy and switched to my notebook after the keynote speaker. Pen and paper, baby!
CFLBlogCon: Part II
The momentum of the day never seemed to slow down at CFLBlogCon and I hopped from session to session like a mad woman!
Tom Jelnek, CEO of On Target Web Solutions, led a session all about search engine optimization (SEO) that addressed little ways you can improve your website’s rankings in Google.
SEO is something I honestly don’t worry about too much and neglect pretty heavily as a blogger. I know it’s important and great SEO can really increase website traffic, so I was really interested to hear what Tom had to say.
- Repetition is important. Posting rich (original!) content on your blog regularly is valuable. The more you post, the more Google “crawls” your site. Regular visits from Google = A very good thing.
- The longer you blog with original content, the more Google “trusts” your site. Keep pluggin’ away!
- Keep your website coding clean. Don’t overuse plugins.
- Google hates slow loading websites. (So do humans.)
- Never post a bunch of content as an image. Google cannot read text in an image and could miss valuable content on your website.
- Before you buy a new domain name, check its history to make sure it wasn’t previously owned by someone who engaged in bad SEO practices.
Tom also shared a story about the time he started a website and was so excited to see it quickly rank on the second page in Google for key search terms. Then, a week later, without reason, it fell to page seven in Google rankings. Tom explained that Google will often “test” new sites and play with their rankings before they’ve earned Google’s “trust.”
I left this session in awe of Google. Is Google human!?!? Can Google see me!?!? Google is powerful.
Bing? Sadie knows not what she says.
Tom took an informal poll in the room and asked what search engine everyone used and I don’t think anyone raised their hand for Bing or Yahoo. I would’ve declared my love for AOL with pride if he asked about AOL since I do use it from time to time when I check my 1990s email address inbox, but he didn’t since AOL fans now clock in at a strong and loyal two: Me and my mom.
At the end of the session, I walked to lunch with Olga, a graphic designer and blogger from Gainesville.
(Picture from Olga)
I loved meeting her (and wanted to steal her blazer) and she helped the lunch line pass in a flash, as did Jordan who was so fun and bubbly and actually knows my sister!
Lunch was provided by Bahama Breeze and I was happy to see shrimp, scallops and mussels served in a paella.
It’s not too often that seafood makes an appearance at conferences, so I was in my element.
During lunch I had a chance to put a face with a name when I connected with Jenni from Costa DeValut, an Orlando-based public relations company I’ve worked with on some freelance projects this year.
Rachelle was so spunky and easy to listen to and shared her top Twitter tips with the group:
- Make sure your Avatar is a picture of you, not your logo.
- When you retweet a tweet, make sure you “old school” RT it, otherwise the person whose tweet you retweeted may never know you did so. (Did you follow that?)
- Don’t tweet links to your blog directly @ other people.
- Share content from tweeters outside your niche.
- Don’t curse if you want to be taken seriously by brands. They’re always watching.
- Thank people who share your content.
- ManageFlitter can help you organize your followers and find new people on Twitter within your niche.
- Buffer is a great site if you want to schedule tweets.
This post is getting a little long again, so I think I will conclude my recap of the conference in another new post. Information overload!
**Big thanks to Macbeth Photography for taking a lot of the above pictures and allowing everyone who attended the conference to use them.**