I have no doubt that, like me, you have recently been approached by many companies offering their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. Everybody is trying to sell SEO! Well, it’s about time we as small businesses owners figure out what we really need to do make our brands more visible.
So, we know SEO exists and we know everyone is trying to “fix” SEO. Why? Well, because Google says so. Google has updated many of their guidelines recently and the common thread in most of these updates is content. Google says that marketers should focus on creating content, launching it “out there” into the universe and encouraging people to use and share it.
What is Google looking For?
Google is looking for ORIGINAL, ENGAGING, RELEVANT CONTENT and Google gets to judge whether or not your content measures up. Unfortunately, much content is not long enough, original enough, relevant enough, or engaging enough to be highly regarded by Google. Confused? Well, here’s what’s happening; your one blog post a week doesn’t cut it any longer. You need to post more and those posts need include interesting pictures and amazing videos. Google knows if you don’t produce enough quality content because your bounce rate tells them so. However, while it’s true that Google is the dominant search engine, THE OLD SEO IS NOT THE ONLY WAY to get noticed. Social channels themselves function as powerful and widely-used search engines. The only reason that Social Channels don’t register in the SEO graphs (seen all over the web) is because searchers are on your company’s social media channels, not on your company’s website (where analytics are tracked). Nonetheless, visitors who find your company on your social channels are still searching, accessing, and interacting with your brand in a very real way.
Your Social Channels Do Matter To Google
The number of your followers doesn’t matter to the algorithm but your social presence is very relevant when it comes to search. The content on social pages is indexed. Your social channels do matter to Google. From conducting a small study of my own, I have found that Google does crawl and return personal Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn pages. When I Google my own business and my clients, I see not only our websites, I see our Facebook ,Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest channels in the second and third positions of Google’s SERP (search engine results page).
Social is still one of the most important ways that you can spend your time, efforts, and marketing
dollars. Maybe it’s not working in the same exact way as it did for the last five years, but so what? Social is still a valuable channel for promotion, content, and distribution.
The New SEO is Social Engagement Optimization!
We have already pushed beyond the limiting edges of websites into “Social Engagement Optimization” on Review Sites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. Below is a break down on the Social Channels that matter for The New SEO.
Google+ is probably the most significant social channel for The New SEO. Google+ delivers personalized search results on people, companies, organizations, and groups that are in your existing circle network. Most importantly posting from your Google+ Channel has a huge impact in your ranking in the search results because it’s all Google! And Google loves Google. Taking that reach even further, you can now connect your YouTube channel to your Google+ page.
YouTube is a force to be reckoned with. Why? Because Google owns YouTube, of course! The search giant purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube processes over 3 billion searches a month. People are actively searching YouTube, to learn more about products and services. Unfortunately, many businesses will never show in a search done on that second-largest search engine because they haven’t made video content a part of their digital marketing. Do your competitors have a YouTube channel? Fortunately for you, the answer is often “no.” Use this opening as an opportunity to reach a customer base your competitors have neglected. To have a customer fall in love with your product or service, you need to be discoverable. It’s extremely easy to share YouTube videos via other social channels, or embed them on your website and blog. And it’s Google so need I say it again: “Google loves Google.”
Facebook has a highly-developed search engine. Its purpose is vastly different from Google’s. Facebook’s search bar allows instant search on any topic, organization, individual, or idea. It elicits thousands of searches daily and a deluge of targeted leads for businesses who know how to work it. And all of this has no connection to Google whatsoever.
Twitter is a search engine too. This is a powerful feature and gets to the core of a niche-specific search. Tweets posted with hashtags help users find valuable information in real time. You can use Twitter to track conversations and manage your tweets.
LinkedIn Profiles and Company Pages
Having a company page with associated employees (each with optimized profiles) who are active and have many connections, can increase the visibility of your content both on LinkedIn and with search engines, while giving you a effective online networking tool to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of connections. Sharing updates with these connections should help increase awareness of your brand and will increase your rankings as your connections share, bookmark/like, and link to your content.
As Social Engagement Optimization becomes the New SEO, the takeaway is this; Plug into this valuable resource; identify the social channels you should be on, brand them, enhance them, improve them, pay attention to them. This is all part of THE NEW SEO, and you need to do it.
SO get out there, with new content and post the types of articles that you want linking to your site.
Just remember however, that getting found is only half the battle in this overcrowded world.
At the end of the day, even while you’re building, making, creating and selling something great—You need to stand out with amazing marketing. Make people happy by helping them solving their problems. Show them how you can make their lives just a little bit easier. After all, isn’t that what everyone is searching for?
Your marketing specialist can help you with all of this. If you don’t have one, I am here to help.
You can email me at email@example.com