Joost de Valk on blog and content marketing SEO basics

Joost de Valk
Joost de Valk

Joost de Valk believes passionately in the open source model. You might be able to describe him as a “geek hippie”, but he describes himself as a “geek marketeer”. He’s a WordPress wizard and SEO sage.

However, despite this undisputable fame regarding WordPress and SEO, Joost is really a customer-centric conversion and content marketing specialist, according to Fusion Marketing Experience organizer J-P De Clerck.

In this post we look at Joost’s view and presentation on blogging and SEO. According to Joost, there’s a pretty simple equation to succeeding with content marketing. Use WordPress, use the right SEO plugin and post good content. Sure, you need lots of links to get a good Google rank, but those links will come if you have the basics of SEO and content down.

The golden rule of blogging is about being positive. If you want links you need to link out to others in your blog. Think of link love as paying it forward. Give some to get some. Give good content with no strings and give out lots of link love to others.

A good story is also very powerful and applies to B2B as well. Reeling off product features and putting posts up with all the personality of a spec sheet are not going to build traffic or engage people. Tell a story! Think of yourself as Aesop except you are not writing fables, but providing relevant information which enriches a reader’s life.

At this point you may be thinking to yourself that it just can’t be this simple, but that’s why they call this stuff basic, isn’t it? Master the basics and you have the strongest of foundations to build on.

Joost points out that the reason why JC Penny and recently got slapped hard by Google is because they forgot about having a real conversation with other sites and blogs. Instead of engaging other bloggers to share intel and wisdom, thus establishing relationships which can build links, they tried to buy link love. To paraphrase an old country song, they went looking for link love in all the wrong places.

If your blog is B2B then find those bloggers out there who blog on the related subject matter. Engage them via their blogs or other channels and establish a relationship. This helps you understand what people are talking about and it also can lead to lots of links coming back to you as well. If those bloggers have good content then linking to them helps you with your content and serves your community members too.

Do you know what questions your customers are asking? If you have a B2B or a B2C blog then you should be talking to your front line people and finding out what questions customers are asking. Once you know what the questions are, you can write posts with the answers.

Questions to front line CS people, on your blog, via Twitter or Facebook give you insight into what customers want to know about. Find out what and where the need is and then feed that need.

Sound too easy? Again, the basics are almost never that hard, but mastering them can be.



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