By: Alex Fernandez
Internet Marketing Strategist
The world turns to a combination of search and social media for information. Boom. Blog complete.
Okay, I’m not getting off the hook that easy! It’s actually a little more intricate than that. Generally speaking – what I said is 100% true, according to studies by GroupM and comScore in 2011. Online users use both search AND social to find information about businesses and make buying decisions. As such, we advocate a combination of SEO (search engine optimization) and social media strategies to reach targeted audiences online. It doesn’t stop here though.
There are a couple ways you can look at it:
(1) From a Social Media Marketer’s point of view
(2) From a Search Engine Marketer’s point of view
The Social Media Marketer:
“My awesome social media is SEO!”
Social media has always helped SEO, even if unintentionally. Social media is online content that is easily sharable, generating website traffic. Since Google and other major search engines place so much emphasis on relevant inbound links social media is a no-brainer. The concept in social media is to create lots of valuable content for your audience, and be rewarded through user engagement and loyalty long-term.
Let’s say you’re a health care organization, and you want to provide information on preventative health.
- You have your marketing communications firm work up some value-added information on preventative health care, in the form of a blog series, eBook, and YouTube video series.
- Each of those items will attract links from other online users posting about the topic of preventative health.
- Each of those items links to your company website.
- Then, you share all of these items on your social networking websites and online forums.
The result is an influx of links, all revolving around your brand name, and all in the context of “preventative health.” The happy accident is that you’re just a social media guy – and somehow you just SEO’d the company website for a targeted keyword. In this example, the social media content (developed merely as added-value for the social audience) became an SEO effort.
~ Now, from the other point of view ~
The Search Engine Marketer:
“I’m going to use Social Media to enhance my already- awesome SEO strategy!”
Search engines have recently been placing much more emphasis on social media. There have been many studies about the correlation between brand mentions on social media and search traffic driven to the company website. Google and Bing are even paying special attention to social engagement metrics in determining search engine ranking for social content. The more “+1’s,” “retweets,” and “likes” your content gets – the more likely it will rank in search.
Let’s illustrate with another scenario. You’re an SEO marketer for a local attraction company, and you discover in your analytics that a significant number of users found your website with the keyword phrase, “things to do in naples.”
- You decide to build out a new section on the website dedicated to the topic, which includes several suggested activities, linking out to cooperating businesses (that will hopefully link back in appreciation).
- To get the word out, you connect the company with all the cooperating businesses on social media.
- You consistently mention the other brands and use strategic hashtags on Twitter, gaining retweets and followers.
- You commit to a reputation management effort to engage with your past customers on user review websites.
- You mention the new page on travel forums and blogs.
The result is a rising search engine ranking of the page for the desired keyword phrase, as well as increased over all search engine visibility. This is because the target audience won’t just see the landing page you created in the search results page – they’ll also likely see your Twitter mentions, your user reviews on the reputation management sites, comments in the blogosphere with +1’s, etc. In this example, the SEO strategy was accented by social media, rather than being social-centric.
No matter which way you look at it – social media and SEO are so complimentary they should be a part of every healthy online presence. Your customers will certainly look to both before making a decision on whether or not to buy from you. These efforts might be handled by different people, departments, even different companies at times – however they work hand-in-hand – and all businesses need them.
If you’re interested in the best of both worlds (Social AND Search), then give us a call at (239) 221-2858 or email us at info (at) getpushing.com.
Until next time!