Getting social about SEO
Today, a successful website is all about making connections.
If you aren’t including social media/web participation in your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) processes you won’t be getting the full benefits of either.
Because social media is all about sharing.
People vote, comment and most importantly, link (a fundamental part of SEO) to what engages and interests them. This linking is literally lead generation for your business.
When those links are inbound to your web pages, you’ll do better on search engine rankings and get a lot more traffic to your site.
With careful planning and a set goal, SEO with Social Media can be a powerful tool in your marketing strategy, especially as an active component of content marketing.
This means creating SEO optimized content that truly connects with your audience, that engages them in such a way that they want (if not need) to share the experience with others.
It is not about content that directly ‘sells’ but that does influence the reader’s thinking in that direction.
And once you have everyone sharing, talking and visiting your site, your chances of converting visitors to customers is greatly enhanced.
To achieve this you need a two-step strategy:
- An overall SEO / Social Media framework
- A direct way to set it up and get working
FIRST: Establish your Framework:
- Identify your audience
- Do your research and fully define who they are, where they are, and what they want.
- One way to help do this is by using social media monitoring software such as Salesforce Radian6.
- Define your objectives and strategy
- Be clear about what you want to achieve. How you work towards more sales will be different to how you work towards enhancing your brand.
- Look at the best ways of doing that through optimized content and interaction.
- Organise a framework of connected social media sites that encourages easy sharing and proactive promotion.
- Get connected
- Where does your target audience spend its time online, which social media is most used?
- Link them all up.
- Measure your goals
- Look at social media and web analytic tools
SECOND: Get to work:
Once you have a set framework established, it’s all about the day-to-day business of connecting with your audience.
Here are a few steps to help you on your way:
- Register with the most relevant and major social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
- They’re where your audience is and by being on them you build credibility with search engines.
- Display your social media ‘share’ buttons on every relevant page of your websites and blogs (remembering every time a user clicks on them improves your credibility and ranking), for example:
- Facebook users will “like” your page and their friends will see that
- Display your social media ‘connect’ buttons (as above)
- Visitors can then directly follow your Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, etc. within their preferred social media channel rather than always revisiting your site.
- Develop your content and distribute it across all of them
- Make it new, interesting and relevant
- Optimise it for SEO
- Publish a lot of it
- Encourage comments and respond to them
- Build an ‘opt-in’ email list for direct marketing campaigns
- Promote, promote and promote your posts
- Syndicate them across all of your social channels
- Comment on blogs (with links back to your site)
- Participate in forums
- Send out press releases
- Take the time, a lot of time, to do it right.
Once all the pieces are in place, you can better connect with your audience, achieve higher search engine rankings, and cost-effectively promote your business by having your own customers do (a fair bit of) the work for you.
By combining SEO with your Social Media strategy, the benefits are virtually unlimited.
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