Search marketing has evolved. Tactics that worked three or four years ago are no reliable, due to changes in Google algorithms that have rendered many traditional SEO practices less effective. The new SEO, also known as search marketing integration (SMI), involves a variety of different elements, beyond just loading up a page with keywords and anchor text-embedded links. One of the key components in effective SMI strategy is social media.
The Convergence of Search and Social
Until very recently, most businesses regarded search marketing and social media as two completely separate disciplines. But the line between the two has blurred and is continuing to blur. The merger of social media and search actually makes sense; they’re both avenues of discovery that enable brands to create awareness while engaging customers and driving leads. They’re also both venues for creating content.
Optimizing your social media strategy for SMI means creating content that’s designed to fit in with how your customers are searching for you; and then socializing that content across all of your company’s social media, including your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.
Social Values in SMI
Because of changes to search engine algorithms, social media values, such as likes, shares, retweets, and +1s, are becoming more influential in terms of garnering search results. As social media continues to play an increasingly larger role in the day-to-day lives of individuals and businesses, the influence these social values wield over search results is likely to become even more pronounced. The highly personalized nature of social media and its effect on search is another key element in search marketing integration.
In terms of search, Google is interested in rewarding sites that have good signals. Social values are a good way to improve the signal your site puts out. Social media injects a valuable human element into the search landscape, along with all the spiders, algorithms and technology. As a result, searchers will rely more on people, rather than just algorithms to attain valuable search results. And that’s what search marketing integration is all about: optimizing for people rather than search engines.
Integrating social media marketing tactics with search marketing is just one of the elements – along with PR, traditional search, video, content, and more - that are necessary in deploying an effective search marketing integration strategy.