What is Social about SEO?

 Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing

When I first started building web sites and performing Search Engine Optimization about 15 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 2018 the playing field has changed beyond recognition. Fifteen 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 listings. Jump ahead today and even in our little west coast slice of paradise here in British Columbia a quick search for a television returns 360 million results. The first few pages being populated by reasonable and relevant entries.

search engine optimization

They’ve Gone Local

Obviously the internet has grown substantially larger in the last fifteen 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. More recently the search giants have turned their efforts to providing better local search results. While this is great and we all want to support shopping local this creates some Search Engine Optimization challenges. 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.

So what do we do? Is Search Engine Optimization dead? Is SEO even worth performing when there are so many results to compete with?

Search Engine Optimization & Social Authority

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

Social Authority is relevant and should be considered when planning your content strategy.

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 Marketing 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 in an way they can use it. There is a reason the big companies are investing in artificial intelligence. The search engines are already capable of consuming content in the way a human would. This is how the measure readability. I’ve said for years, write your words for people because the Search Engines can already read it that way.

Social Media Marketing

So we leverage our Social Media Marketing (SMM) to drive traffic to our optimized content. So many SEO and SM marketers spend money advertising via Social Media sites to generate traffic. That’s fine but what if we can generate Social Media traffic via optimized content?

Sounds great but how do we do that? 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, InstagramYelp pages
  • Share your posts, especially the ones that direct back to your optimized content
  • Drive check-ins at your place of business tagging it in your posts, photos & videos

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. 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.