What is Social about SEO?

Posted By on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 in News,Search Engine Optimization,Social Media Marketing

When I first started optimizing web sites about 10 years ago it was only for the customers who were serious about driving traffic to their eCommerce web sites. While this still remains true in 2014 the playing field has changed beyond recognition. Ten years ago if you were selling televisions you were maybe competing against five or six other web sites in your area for the top spots and maybe a couple thousand other irrelevant listing. Jump ahead today and even in our little west coast slice of paradise Victoria BC a quick search for a television returns 1.7 million results with the first few pages being populated by reasonable and relevant entries.

SEO and Social Media Victoria BC

They’ve Gone Local

Obviously the internet has grown substantially larger in the last ten years but the increase in quality results isn’t just from volume. As we have seen in numerous Google and Bing algorithm updates over the years the drive to provide relevant results has been paramount and more recently the search giants have turned their efforts to providing better local results. While this is great and we all want to support shopping local this creates some SEO challenges for small businesses. Not only are we all competing with each other but now we have to consider the impact of directories and local listing sites such as Craigslist, Yelp and UsedEverywhere.

This has been very well defined by Search Engine land in their article about a recent update they have named the “Pigeon Update” check out more about the Pigeon Update in our article “Is Google going to the Birds?“.

So what do we do? Is SEO dead? Is SEO even worth it?

For awhile now I’ve been encouraging my clients to combine their SEO and Social Media marketing strategies. I know, this is not a huge trade secret and not exact a blueprint for success but as the web changes we need to be flexible and agile enough in our online marketing to react quickly and efficiently.

The key to success online

There is no doubt that the larger your social footprint the more it will affect  your SEO results. Where the secret to success lies is in your ability to leverage your Social Media influence towards your optimized content. Content will always be key but how that content looks over time will change, is it text? images? video? It doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day the long term strategy remains the same. Get your well written and optimized content to the people.

So we leverage our Social Media (SM) to drive traffic to our optimized content, seems one way but it doesn’t have to be. So many SEO and SM marketers spend money advertising via Social Media sites to generate traffic and that’s fine but what if we can generate Social Media traffic via optimized content?

Sounds great but how do we do that? First you need to ensure your Social Media profiles are up to date and ready to except comments, posts and reviews. Encourage your followers to do the following:

  • Post reviews on your Google+, Facebook & Yelp pages
  • Share your posts, especially the ones that direct back to your optimized content
  • Drive check-ins at your place of business via Facebook, Yelp or FourSquare

There are many ways you can do this which can differ greatly by your type of business. Restaurants can offer a free appy or dessert if you check in, Golf course can offer a complementary power cart rental etc. people always love a deal so simply try a 10% off campaign. The goal is get as many people Socially Engaging with your business as possible.

 

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