SEO: The Social Search Era
Moving into the Social Era
Gaining good rankings within Google has always taken a variety of different factors or “signals” from both on-page and off-page. Originally META tags played a huge part of the ranking algorithm, this has now been fazed out and probably the most influential ranking factor is quality backlinks. Recently, thanks to the huge boom of popularity with social networking, Google now takes social aspects of search into consideration more than ever.
The online marketing budget for most businesses seems to lie in the more “traditional SEO”, i.e. building backlinks. Social Media is often forgotten or thought of as an after thought. The truth is that SEO and Social Media are so closely bound, you will be hard pushed to be successful with one without the other.
So why does Google care about Social Media?
What Google want to do is provide the best, most relevant content to their users. Now obviously the best way to determine what “the people” want to see, is by taking the recommendation by “the people”. Using Facebook “likes”, Twitters Re tweets and the general presence of a product or brand amongst the social scene leaves Google to assume that this website is a good one.
Not only can social media show the opinions and preferences of real people, it is also a great way for businesses to interact with their customers and market.
So what should I do to capitalise on Social Media?
- Well firstly you need to make sure your registered with the big social media names
- You want to promote your products and services via tweets, comments and links. E.g. Write a blog post about a new product or a special offer you are running. Write a tweet linking to this blog post, ask people to retweet it. Also put the link onto Facebook onto, ask people to like it etc.
- Run social contests, offer an incentive or prize for some kind of contest which requires users to “re-tweet” or “Like” your business.
- Make your content very easy to share, provide “Share Links” on every news or blog entry.
- Take advantage of Social bookmarking websites to bookmark your content, Digg, Reddit etc.
- Engaging videos are a great way of getting people to comment and favourite your business
In a summary, all these factors are linked. Use twitter to promote your website, use your website to promote Facebook, use facebook to gain more twitter followers etc. As you can see they can all be used to link to each other. I like to think of it as reinforcing my marketing offensive. Just remember, social networking can provide an influx of traffic to your business, but it will not stay consistent. What you are doing by seeding your content across all these social media websites is giving Google social “signals” to pick up on in order to reward you with a higher ranking.