September 2, 2010
Top 4 Factors of an Integrated Approach to Search Engine Optimization and Social Media
Special thanks to guest contributor, Danny Dover – SEO expert and influential blogger at SEOmoz, author of Search Engine Optimization Secrets and Beginners Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Media Logic recently tweeted about this blog post How Social Marketing Lifts Organic Conversions. The post describes the impact social media may have on search engine optimization and vice versa, stating that marketers who engage in SEO and social media may have 58.8% higher conversion rates in organic traffic because their social media work has increased trust in their brands and products. The breakdown of data provided in the post shows that SEO is more effective at attracting attention and ultimately converting people, while social media is more likely to increase positive thinking around a product and brand. Clearly, a social marketing strategy that includes both SEO and social media would be the best and most effective approach.
But more often than not, we see companies significantly concentrating on either SEO or social marketing… So how can they effectively integrate both in a strategic approach without expending twice the time and resources? To help provide some direction, I decided to reach out to Media Logic colleague, Danny Dover, an influential SEO expert at SEOmoz, to determine a few key factors in developing an approach that effectively integrates search engine optimization and social media on a small scale.
After putting our heads together, we’ve come up with 4 critical success factors for an integrated approach to search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing:
#1: Listen and learn before jumping in
The biggest mistake we see companies that are new to integrating SEO and social media is starting before they know what they are doing. There is a LOT of misinformation about SEO and social media online, and it is easy to hurt your potential rankings without even knowing it. Our recommendation is to spend a considerable amount of time listening and reading before formulating your strategy. A great place to start is the beginners guide to SEO and blogs like Search Engine Land, Logical Juice and some of the published social media whitepapers at mlinc.com.
#2: Test, test and test some more
Google says they update their algorithm roughly 400 times a year (this means more than once a day). So companies need to be continually testing – including title tags, meta descriptions, content and linking strategies. Your best bet is to write good content and measure the results.
#3: Create useful, relevant content
Content is the key to earning links online. People link to what they find useful or interesting. This is important because link-related factors make up 70% of search engine ranking factors. For us, SEO and social media always eventually comes back to people. Content works because content is what people are online to consume.
#4: Be authentic
The importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. People are very good at detecting “marketing speak.” The surest way to get ahead online is to be real with people and do everything you can to deliver value. Forget what you learned in your Business classes. This is the Internet; people want to talk to people not faceless corporations. Look to Yelp, Zappos, JetBlue and Google as examples of companies that have done well with this.
Even small SEO and social media efforts in some niches can make a huge difference to the bottom line. Businesses are made up of people who need information. Search engines like Google, and social media platforms like Twitter are the best tools out there for finding information, so it is only natural that business relationships can happen online. Other than improved rankings, traffic and conversions, the biggest benefit for any business owner is establishing new relationships with like-minded business owners and employees. The Internet is the world’s biggest meeting place… All it takes to succeed is the ability to be found by other people.