Saturday, December 1, 2012

12:08 PM

SEO and Social Media

In the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization, it is crucial to stay on top of marketing trends. For example, social media is more and more becoming an integral part of effective SEO strategies. Those in the world of online marketing who don’t integrate their SEO with social media activity run a very real risk of being left out in the cold.

Here are just a couple of statistics from eMarketer and Search Engine Land that illuminate the growing influence of social media as far as marketing is concerned:
  • There is a 94% click-thru rate (CTR) when social media and Internet searches are combined.
  • 74% of consumers follow brands via Facebook brand pages.
And with print-media revenue down across the board, it’s no wonder marketers are focusing almost exclusively on gaining that online edge -- a sentiment echoed by Chris Copeland, CEO of GroupM:

Once, it was a newspaper. It arrived neatly on your doorstep to satisfy information needs. Now, it is a web of information on the Internet but with much deeper insights as to why we make the brand and buying decisions we do. Marketers are going to want these insights.”

Bearing in mind that all signs point to a future where SEO and social media are fully integrated, here are some ways to get the ball rolling in the present.

Social Media and Link Development

Social Media and Link Development

One of the main reasons social media is as important to modern SEO as it is has to do with social signals. When someone surfing the Internet likes, shares or views a page, search engines then register this information in their algorithms. Not only that, but with Google+ and Bing further integrating search and social, one can draw a direct line from what’s happening on their favorite social media sites to the results they see when they perform an Internet search.

This is where link development comes in. And because of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, no longer will sub-par link-development practices make the cut. That means blog commenting, free directory submissions and generic article sites no longer play a role in successful SEO.

What does work to develop successful links is to market quality content via social media. For many businesses, useful and authoritative content marketed on popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter is proving to be a most effective marketing vehicle.

Blogging with SEO and Social in Mind

Blogging with SEO and Social in Mind

There is no better way to build links and authority in the world of online marketing than with high quality blog posts. Those who focus postings within their industry often find that they attract more links. And of course high quality content geared towards specific circles are often keyword focused, which allows for higher ranks.

What’s most crucial – and what many businesses overlook – is the importance of linking from blog content back to the primary website of the organization. There are few better opportunities to create relevant internal links than via blog posts. Businesses need to take advantage of this as often as possible.

Working With A Team

Working With A Team

Those businesses that have blogging teams in place should focus on training them in SEO best practices. That means providing them with targeted keywords as well as the ideal landing pages for those keywords on the main website. This will have the direct effect of creating well-optimized content that contains internal links perfectly suited to the overall SEO goals. And this has the direct effect of making it easier for the customer base to find relevant content on the main website of the business.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when crafting a marketing strategy that integrates SEO and social media. It’s also recommended to participate in guest blogging, which is a practice that can build relationships as well as produce link opportunities. And when combining all of the above practices, businesses can count on more visibility for their content.

Dan Ripoll is the co-founder and CEO of GuestBlogGenius, a link building service and content marketing platform for SEOs and eCommerce site owners.