How SEO and Social Media Marketing Come Together
A common term found in the online world today, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is a relatively new field of online development focused not solely on developing websites but on improving the search ability of websites in online search engines. In short, good SEO equates to more natural traffic finding your website each and every day without the need for investing hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars in marketing, in turn resulting in higher revenue from any business operations you may be conducting online.
One of the key aspects of SEO involves developing links from other websites back to your own, both driving traffic to your website through these other links as well as improving its relevance in search engines (with each link acting to cast a “vote” for your site as a quality site people should visit). With this in mind, one of the fastest growing areas of focus for many individuals looking to improve the number of links back to their sites and in turn improve their sites overall standings are social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Google+.
With user bases spanning millions upon millions of users, social media sites have become a major focus for many companies to advertise their goods or services and have become a major profit-making machine for a number of businesses worldwide. Leveraging this potential, SEO specialists focusing on the social media world look to tap into the millions of users interested in a website’s goods or services. For each link a user decides to place on their own social profile page, the website being marketed increases in standing, thus pushing it up above many of its competitors on the market and making it realize two separate growing sources of visits: the social page itself and more natural traffic from SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
One technique that has proven particularly effective in the social media marketing industry has been the development of what is known as “widget baiting”. Referring to small “widgets” that users can place on their own websites, blogs or social pages, widget baiting involves users taking some sort of quiz or doing some other interactive activity that not only interests them but is something they may wish to share with others as well (such as the results of a test, a small game or other small interactive program). Embedded within this somewhere is a link from the widget back to the developer’s website, and with each successive posting that website increases its own standings online, thus being a win-win scenario for the website developers and users alike.
Widget baiting and other techniques like it have proven particularly effective in a number of markets though, as always, the key to success online in today’s SEO world is to make sure all of your efforts on developing a website are relevant and not underhanded (commonly referred to as “black hat SEO”). While it’s true that going out and spamming the web or using other less-than-upstanding techniques can bolster your rankings online, 99% of the time search engines will discover your tactics and punish you for them.
Get social and create relationships with your clientele and prospects, and enjoy the process. Besides, no one knows your business better than you do.
Social Media – The New Audience
You think social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are just for the high school kids? Think again! Studies show an overwhelming amount of people, of all age ranges are jumping in on the social media bandwagon. There are some alarming stats on how all generations are moving towards social media, not only for entertainment, but for purchasing decisions!
- Social media use has increased by 356% since 2006 (1)
- More than 50% of businesses say social media has an important role in active sales (2)
- 1/3 of Small to Medium Sized Businesses say social media helps them get found (3)
- 61% of Internet Users research products online (1)
- 44% of online shoppers begin with a search engine (1)
- LinkedIn drives the most customers to B2B (4)
- Facebook drives the most conversions for B2C (4)
This is where the fun begins, right? One of the biggest reasons people use Facebook or Twitter is to gather information and/or give information on a product or service that they are looking for. And who better to trust than your “friends”. And if you can get into their circles (plug for Google+ right there, lol), you can now get referrals and equally as important, you can provide sincere and genuine feedback and suggestions as well.
So as you are posting your latest landscaping project or tweeting about the new corvette that’s on your car lot, people are seeing it. You are keeping top-of-mind awareness as well as engaging your friends to comment and share your information. In doing so, you are unconsciously becoming somewhat of an authority figure in your field. Who knew right?!
Keep posting and tweeting and hanging out in your circles. The more active you are, the better your results will be. Don’t worry, it’s not like you have to be a full time social media mogul, but posting and sharing on a regular basis will be worth your time!