Most major brands have come to the realization that we can't silo search marketing and social media marketing. For enterprises that house both tracks, cross-functional teams are being deployed to achieve an aligned objective.
At the small to medium businesses (SMB) level, companies that outsource these functions may find it challenging to achieve complete alignment if they are dealing with separate vendors. I wanted to share some ideas and suggestions that hopefully can help your organization align these two functions.
What exactly is SMO? According to Wikipedia: "Social Media Optimisation (SMO) is the use of a number of social media outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event. In general, social media optimisation refers to optimising a website and its content in terms of sharing across social media and networking sites."
'Google has stated that their current search engine algorithm factors in 'social signals' to help it determine where a website should rank in a search result page. Social signals are social media-related recommendations, likes, tweets or social sharing that are associated with the brand's website.
Currently, the value Google associates with a particular social media platform and the type of social media activity is not measurable by us. It is safe to assume that Google+, as Google's own social media platform, is the most important in terms of generating social signals. It is also safe to assume that the social signals, which are generated by Facebook and Twitter, are both significant, due to their popularity'.
'In the search marketing world, “black hat SEO” refers to techniques and tactics that increase search engine rankings in ways that fall outside of the search engines’ guidelines or terms of service. (Conversely, “white hat SEO” refers to SEO techniques and tactics that are ethical — i.e., fall within the search engines’ guidelines.)
You won’t find many definitions for “black hat social media,” so allow me to define it here. Black hat social media is an attempt to utilize a social media site for some kind of gain, using methods that are outside the social media website’s guidelines.
"Optimizing for the search engines has long been a way of driving qualified traffic to a company’s website, in many cases it is often the number one source.
With the increasing domination of social media in the marketing industry, there’s been a growing change in the focus of marketers split amongst a few channels mainly search engine optimization and social media marketing.
In order to see both short-term and long-term results from your marketing, create micro content on a regular basis for your social channels in order to emulate the results typically seen from long-tail SEO".
Rand Fishkin is going to talk about running some SEO tests.
So it is the case that many of us in the SEO world, and in the web marketing world overall, love to run tests on our websites. Of course, there's great software, like Unbounce or Optimizely, if you want to run conversion-style tests, tests that kind of determine whether users perform better through conversion Funnel X or Funnel Y, or if Title X or Title Y convinces more people to buy.
But SEO tests are particularly insidiously challenging because there are so many components and variables that can go into a test.
Just like SEO, Social Media can have its dark side as well. The old trend was to try and scam Google using Black Hat SEO tricks and the new trend is to try and trick Google and users using Social Media as the New Black! And it’s backfiring on companies just like SEO did.
Let's figure out how to break the ice and move things forward toward SEO greatness.
To start, here are five basic tips that apply to all five scenarios:
1. Commit yourself to learning their frame of reference, and their language. Are they financially-minded? Technical? Show-me-the-money types? Where are they coming from? Nothing else you do will matter unless you figure these things out.
2. Get them to specifically define their objections. The more well-defined the better, but don't wear out your welcome asking for more details. You want them willing to listen when you're ready to tell them your point of view. Listen attentively, and respectfully.
3. After they have clearly defined their objections, let them know that you would like to pull together some information/data to help them see an alternative point of view. Ask for a second meeting and promise that you will lay it out for them in 15 minutes or less.
4. Recognize that you have no more than five minutes to make your pitch. It doesn't matter how long the meeting is scheduled for, you have five minutes to win the day, or not. After that, their minds will already be wandering. That's why you're going to do your pitch in five slides.
5. Don't meet before you're ready. Postpone the planned meeting (no more than once) if you aren't prepared. Your best opportunity is available only once, so don't blow it.
Why should entrepreneurs and business owners care about integrating search and social into a marketing plan? They can't afford not to. Let the statistics speak for themselves:
- 72 percent of Internet users regularly use a social network and social media marketing budgets are projected to double in the next five years.
- Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78 percent of U.S. internet users researching products and services online.33 percent of organic search clicks go to the first result.
- (SocialTimes)The top four positions, generally those considered to be "above the fold," receive 83 percent of first-page organic clicks. (Brent Carnduff)
'Filtering, sorting, exporting to excel/powerpoint, tagging results, user management are some of the very basic but effective features you will see on every screen to enhance the productivity while running social media campaigns.
Talkwalker is an incredibly easy to use tool, has a new dimension all together, very recently I was introduced to the new Talkwalker Social Search tool; You will be amazed to see the simplicity with which Talkwalker powers any search. Just put the keyword of your choice and in few minutes you have an entire dashboard in front of you! You see most recent results, reach, demographics and many more things.
Isn’t it something similar to Google web search? That’s why I call Talkwalker as new Google for Social search'.
'No matter how SEO and SMM are regarded as two different entities, keep in mind that these two elements are not contradicting. In fact, SEO and SMM work hand in hand to help a website achieve more in terms of online marketing.
SEO and SMM require patience and to be able to strategize correctly, it will be essential to create posts and updates regularly. Monitoring the engagement is also another thing. All of these, when done manually can be time consuming and expensive in the long run'.
'Like everything else, SEO is complicated only if you are unaware of what it is. So before moving forward, it’s advisable that you get acquainted with the basics of SEO if you are new to the game.
Now that you have grasped the fundamentals, let’s get going with the main agenda behind producing this post: “deviating from the traditional SEO concept and introducing 3 SEO techniques you (in all probabilities) do not know about'.
'A page that people are likely to share is a page that is more likely to rank'.
'If you want to rank higher, make a page that people love. Sound familiar? It should. This has been what Google has been telling us all along. Of course, you need to pay attention to keyword research and keyword usage, but focus on the visitor, the experience of humans'.
"The one thing I’ve learned about social sites, including Instagram, is that you are not going to see results right away. But if you keep at it, you’ll start seeing traction within six to twelve months.
If you are going to get on Instagram, make sure you link to your website within your profile bio. Sadly, you can’t add links in any other way, but the branding exposure is still worth it".
The integration of social media signals to search algorithms is changing how search engines are performing. Studies show at least 58% of consumers go to search engines to search for something online, while 40% would then seek further decision-making help through their friends or colleagues at social media.
All-in-all, about 48% of consumers are using some forms of combining social media with search to help them in their purchasing decisions.
It's s a myth to think you can and should be manipulating search engines with back links, page keyword stuffing, duplicate content development, etc. It's old school and much of these processes are no longer relevant to Google.
Today, SEO rankings are a primarily combination of creating and sharing great content, building a web site that works for your visitor, coupled with basic on page SEO best practices we've outlined below.
The idea that social media signals impact search ranking is “hotly contested” within the SEO community, according to SUSO's Pryce. “While there is clear evidence that having an active and engaged social following can help amplify your marketing efforts and lead to earned links, there is no direct impact on search rankings,” he says.
Pryce advises others to continue to grow social profiles “on the most suitable networks, but don't assume that getting more Likes, tweets and Google +1s will directly help your search visibility.”
Social Media is also linked with SEO, which makes it relatively cheaper to reach out to your audience.
SEO is that magical algorithm that helps your website to come on the top ranks of all relevant Google Searches. And, you will be surprised to find out how closely social media marketing affects your SEO rank. Hence it is a no brainer that social media can actually help you in bettering your business prospects.
The quantity of social signals you receive, such as Likes, retweets, shares, pins, number of comments on your posts signals to Google that you are or are not an authority in your area.
SMO is tied to SEO in such a way you cannot untangle the two. If you care about SEO, then you must care about SMO. Why does Google care if your content is high quality, educational, engaging, or humorous?
Google is a business, and their business is to provide the highest quality content to their readers.
You can write great content for Google or Social. But I am not really sure it is possible to do Google and Social well.
Google killed SEO and now it understands words so you can just write about any old thing and it will figure out you mean “entrepreneur marketing”, but a couple of minutes on the search engine will show you these kinds of results for your industry!