When it comes to growing your company, there is no better way to do it than to promote your goods or services on the world-wide-web. We all know that search engines are responsible for a majority of the market share but over the last few years, social media has made its way to the top of the leader boards. With the immense amount of traffic that these social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google + get, the opportunity to advertise has grown in popularity. There are many tools and software services out there that are now aiding in managing social media campaigns that are very helpful in measuring your success with social media conversions. Today I would like to share how to use SEO and social media to grow your business online and more importantly, how to measure your success with SEO and Social Media advertising.
First I would like to take it back to the SEO basics, to understand how search engine optimization works you will need to think like a search engine for a moment. A search engine, such as Google is responsible for providing searchers with the best answer to their search query. Naturally, if you only implement SEO practices that would enhance the user experience of your website, then you are essentially doing the right thing. Hiding keywords on your websites background by making the text the same color as your background is not enhancing user experience, which is why Google will penalize you for doing so. Over the years, search engines optimize their own algorithms to ensure that websites that have been SEO'd in a manipulative way are punished. This essentially means that those who are honest and that do the right thing will be rewarded. Today I will go over how to use the right SEO and social media tactics to get your website more traffic from relevant visitors.
Leveraging Social Media & Search Engine Optimization
Being that internet marketing evolves so rapidly I thought it would be a good idea to share how to properly use social media for SEO in 2014. The methods that I am going to share have been used for our company site, The Miami SEO Company and we have been seeing great results in our traffic from social media and search engines.
Knowing How Google Treats Search Queries and Results
The first and most important part of any search marketing strategy is obviously to "know your keywords" which essentially means understanding how your clients search for your products or services. But equally as important as knowing what keywords you are going to focus on is knowing which pages to direct those visitors to. As an ecommerce SEO expert, I typically deal with many shopping site campaigns and I feel an eCommerce campaign would serve as a good example for my explanation of how we create our keyword strategies for our clients.
Consider the fact that when you search for a generic term such as "dog food", you typically will find category pages from online stores that rank well on Google which contain a variety of dog food (aka category page). If you search for "Purina puppy chow", you're likely to find a product page ranking on Google which has that exact product or multiple types of Purina puppy chow. So what does that mean? That means, in order to show up on the top of the search engines, you need to know which pages are important and which keywords would be used to find those pages. Regardless of the type of page you want to promote, each page will have its own set of keywords that will be used to find them. The proper way to start any search campaign is to sort your keywords into "keyword groups" which are in theory the same thing as "Ad groups" if you are familiar with Adwords PPC management.
Each group of keywords should have its destination URL which will be the entry point for searchers who use keywords from that category. Below is a screen shot of what our keyword strategy looks like once it's organized into an excel spread sheet. The data was pulled from a traffic report using Google Analytics, Knowing your way around excel can be a life saver for anyone doing any kind of SEO or social media marketing. I wrote a great post that shows the best short cuts, tips and formulas that you can refer to called "excel for SEO" on my blog.
Once you have your keyword strategy down whether it's for an eCommerce campaign or a service based business you can start thinking about implementing your content, link building and social media campaign which we will get into next!
Link Building & Social Media in 2014
Now that you know which keywords and landing pages combinations you are going to focus on, you can hit the ground running when it comes to on-going tasks like building content, links and promoting your social media pages. Assuming you know a thing or two about SEO, you will want to start doing your link building and blogging on regular basis to show the search engines that you have fresh new content that is engaging on your site and off your site being created regularly. Be careful when it comes to building links and content, it's all about quality over quantity now a days and if you don't comply with the best practices you could end up with a penalized site that falls off the Google Map. For those of you who are not familiar with the best practices for SEO, I encourage you to read the PDF guide presented by Google on how to do SEO. Reading this PDF will give you a firm understanding of what has to be done to have a 100% optimized website.
Like most of you may know, link building is something that has been abused over the years and if you aren't doing things correctly it can be very harmful to your websites organic presence. Social media is now used to promote the links your build because link building is now more about quality rather than quantity so it's important to share the high quality links you create with your social channels. A good example of a back is the post you are reading right now! It has a link back to my social profiles in the author box as well as a link to a page on my site that is well deserved and relevant. Because the content I am writing is engaging, visitors share the content on social sites and all the while Google is taking note of all these signals.
So when you do things like update your blog with great content, create guest blog posts with great content, build links optimized for you keyword targets and use social media to promote the links/posts then you will be well on your way to ranking well on Google. It's important to note that sometimes, you need to work harder to rank for really competitive keywords. For example, ranking for a term like "SEO Fort Lauderdale" took us much longer to rank for than a keyword like "Best seo company in fort Lauderdale" because it has a lower search volume and has a lower rate of competition. The more competitive a keyword, the harder it is to rank and the more things you have to do in order to show up well on the search engines.
As long as you think like a search engine and only do things that benefit the search engine user, then you are on your way to dominating the search engines. To find out more, feel free to stay tuned for more blogs on Social Media Today related to SEO and Social Media!