Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Icing on the Blog: How to Royal Ice a Slingshot SEO Cookie

This past weekend, I attended the PRSSA Social Media convention as if I weren’t already addicted to Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

I may write a food blog, but this post is for an iPad 2 haha. I’m shameless, I know.

I have still included my how-to below and my first attempt at professional cookie decorating. I was embarrassed at first about how some of them came out, but my blog is not about showing you perfect and beautiful all the time. This is what a real first attempt looks like- and I think they turned out great.

 This post isn’t about how I got more frosting all over the walls, the floor, and myself than the actual cookies, but rather the importance of search optimization for companies and the little people like me!

I attended a break out session at the PRSSA Social media convention with Jeremy Dearringer , who is the co-founder of Slingshot SEO. Dearringer talked about how much the search optimization market has changed and the impact of Google and social media platforms.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s giving away an iPad to a blogger that reviews his talk.

Everybody (unless you live under a rock) knows about the impact Facebook and Twitter has had on marketing campaigns, but recently there has been a lot in the news about how to maximize your search, which is referred to as search engine optimization or SEO for short.

Awesome points/tips I learned from Dearringer:
-Social media has influenced search since 2003.

-Remember Lycos or when Yahoo! Search controlled the entire market? The world changes quickly- you need to anticipate it!


-There were 10 billion searches conducted on Google sites in the US during February 2011 alone.

-I want to pass on this article that he shared with us.  "What Social Signals Do Google and Bing Really Count". If you are a blogger or interested in getting high ranks on Google/Bing search results; this is a definite read. It gives the inside information on the factors that their formulas use to rank sites.

-Facebook shares and tweets definitely help optimize search results, especially if you can get an "authority figure" account on twitter to start tweeting about you (I wonder if they count Charlie Sheen in this category?).

-Google Plus 1 might be another game changer. It's interactive and similar to a "like" on Facebook.

-There are 460,000 new twitter accounts daily. Facebook has 500 million active users (log-in at least once a month, 50% log in daily) - Huffington Post.

-Be ready- because mobile is on its way to be the next big thing.

-Giving away an iPad is definitely awesome (just want to make sure you’re still paying attention)

-I could have a new possible career path in SEO (so what if I Google my blog and freaked out when it finally ranked number 1)
The only thing that I did not like about Dearringer's session is that he believes it's fine to have inappropriate pictures tagged on Facebook (ex. crazy drunk college pictures) because it makes you human. This might be ok when you are the co-founder of your own company and you make the rules, however the rest of corporate America is not necessarily so forgiving.

Actually, Dearringer should check out this story from NPR headlined, "A Social Media Makeover", about how there is now an emerging market for fixing and cleaning up ruined online reputations.

However thanks to Dearringer I can hopefully get some more hits by...
- Getting a share feature bar for Facebook and Twitter on each blog post. (check!)
-Invest in a flip cam, or now a substitute since Cisco has shut the division down.  Dearringer used one during his presentation and I never thought that maybe I could add more multimedia features to the blog.

How To Royal Ice A Slingshot SEO Cookie
For sugar cookie recipe refer to: All I Want for Christmas is Sugar
Wilton Royal Icing Recipe:
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty
mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing.
Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you
reach proper consistency.

How to Ice:
Use your first batch of "thick" royal icing and outline the shapes in the cookie you want to separate for different colors.
Let the outlines dry for around a half hour or until hard. Then add a couple teaspoons (one at a time) to your icing and mix well. The icing consistency will be very loose and liquid-like. Slowly "flood" the inside of the outlined shapes.
Some people use piping bags, but I find bottles easer to ice cookies

The final result: beautiful Slingshot SEO and Little 500/spring themed cookies. Not too shabby for a first time royal ice-r?

Happy Little 5! Bike on!

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Maggie

1 comment:

  1. Great looking cookies. Thanks for the tips and instructions!