Sunday, 6 October 2013

Social Media And Your SEO Campaign.

Change is inevitable and as Google introduces Hummingbird, a lot of SEO tactics are going into oblivion. This left many people looking for ways where to go to raise their search engine rankings.

The good news is that while definite SEO tactics may be under the gun and likely to fail in months to come (if they haven't already), other tactics are destined to succeed, impervious to algorithmic changes. Many people believe that search marketing integration, or SMI, is one of these. Some people have even gone as far as to say publicly that SMI will be required to rank on the first page of Google in the future.

What is Search Marketing Integration?

Search marketing integration uses traditional SEO but also combines social media marketing. In the past, many people just worked on getting inbound links; now we're seeing social media playing a growing role. This makes sense since both of these methods should be about creating quality content, building trust, and establishing your brand.

In addition to regular backlinks, SMI integrates social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Search engines have started using retweets, Facebook likes, and Google +1s, to help determine organic search rankings. Since Google has already shown that they will reward sites with good social signals, integrating them into your marketing plan is important; not only now, but even more as the industry (and Google's algorithms) continue to progress.

Who do you Follow?

In the past, many people tried to game the system by getting as many followers as possible. In some cases, they even bought followers because it increased their numbers. Now there is growing evidence that Google and the other search engines are looking at not only who you follow but also who follows you. Google has indicated that as they continue to refine their algorithms, they will soon be able to say who is influential in a given place partially by their social media profiles. Once they do this, one influential follower will be much more critical than lots of unknown ones.


While we're on the topic of using social media, it seems like a good time to bring up branding. Social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook can be a fantastic way to establish your brand. However, we nevertheless look too many people abusing social media by constantly promoting their products. The "push" mentality needs to end; those days are over.

It's the quickest way to profit unliked, unfollowed, and untrusted. If you desire to construct your brand and establish trust, you're going to need to take the time to provide quality information and help your customers. I've observed that, somewhere along the way, many people have forgotten that.

Good branding and social media interaction comes through engagement with your target audience. Rather than just posting links to your newest blog articles, ask stimulating, thought-provoking, and discussion-sparking questions. Start polls, host interactive webinars, and reply to blog comments. Do everything it takes to humanize your brand, create it organic, and create it likeable.

Becoming a Thought Leader

"Thought leadership" may be an overused buzzword, but as the popularity of content marketing continues to become more pervasive, thought leadership is going to continue to grow in importance. To put it simply, becoming a thought leader is really about being an authority by having the answers that are relevant to your niche. When you boil it down even more, it's really about knowing your niche and helping people by giving out your knowledge. Social media can be an easy way to do this.

Discover the questions and answers that really matter to your customer. These can be found on forums, Q&A sites like Yahoo answers, and others. Once you have identified them, solution those questions on your website or social media pages. Odds are good, if you prefer the right questions, and provide solid answers, other people will desire to know the answers as well.

Sometimes it can even be a good idea to let your customers participate. By communicating and interviewing your customers, you can find the problems that are hindering them and publish content with the answers.

Integrating Traditional SEO and Social Media

Regardless of how many people declare that SEO is dead, traditional backlinks yet retain some influence, when acquired correctly. It used to be that using low-quality, spun content and automated tools to construct links was a well-liked link building solution. However, those days are long gone; the concept and practice of content marketing has taken link building in an entirely different direction.

What if you could write one article and have thousands of people read it, and gain dozens or hundreds of inbound links from it? Let's imagine this scenario. What if you successfully scored a guest posting opportunity and posted one well-researched, though-provoking article to a publisher with thousands of visitors per day? I'm talking about the type of publisher that will only publish exquisite content. After reading the article, many people are intrigued by what you have to say, but still not familiar with you (the author). Two days later, you publish another popular article upon the same website. It engages the readers and leaves them wanting to learn even more from you.

At this point, they may recognize your name and realize that you are writing a series. The next day, the third article in the series is released. By this point, you've had an opportunity to construct trust with the reader. You've established yourself as a thought leader with enough knowledge in the area to write an entire series of articles upon the subject.

Guest posting can be very powerful if executed properly. While there is a lot of benefit to receiving one link from one article, there is much more benefit to be had by posting a series. By being in front of readers for multiple days upon the right high traffic site, you gain more opportunities to establish trust, construct your brand image and recognition, and bring traffic to your site as a result.

Google Authorship

While you are writing that incredible content, don't forget to set up Google Authorship for each article. By doing this, you're telling Google that you wrote the content and are establishing a reputation with Google as being an expert in your area. This will also help construct your Author Rank, leading to improved rankings for the content you author, along with recognition and visibility as an authority in your niche.

Maintaining your Social Presence

After setting up Google authorship, don't forget to link to your newly written content from your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). This gives you a great excuse to promote quality links and helps you keep your social media presence. Don't forget, this isn't just about you. It is important to share other people's work as well.

What About Your Site?

Once you've added that content to your site that makes people desire to read and share with their friends, it's important that you permit them to easily share your content. If you use WordPress, it's very easy; there are many plugins that will let you easily add social media buttons to your site. For non-Wordpress sites, you can add code to your site so the social buttons will be added to each page.

Many authority sites have recently started adding critical quotes with tweet buttons into their posts. This makes it easy for a person to click the link while they are reading your interesting content and share it with their friends. If your site has high traffic volume, it may be hard for users to share your content as the server load grows. This can also become an issue when content goes viral (the holy grail of online marketing campaigns).


Integrating social media with your SEO isn't hard. It all starts with a good content strategy, which coordinates your marketing and content efforts into one cohesive plan, and is supported by interesting your social media audiences rather than only pushing your content upon them. A non-changing formula is integrating human interaction on your websites and that is where social media is taking into major role. This knowledge, along with simple social sharing options upon your website, will foster a social media following that will not only hold your SEO campaign, but become brand ambassadors themselves.

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