The virtual world has its own set of mechanisms and dynamics. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one such important aspect whose prime goal is to improve the visibility of websites in search engines, specifically Google, naturally or organically (without paying for advertising), in order to increase traffic to your website and drive online conversion.
The face of SEO has been ever changing and in order to stay relevant in search, marketers have found ways to retain a high rank in search engines. Content and social media marketing have been in the spotlight for a few years now and the only driving and determining factors for a brand’s digital success. The time has come to mash up social media and SEO together to match your business needs!
What was SEO?
From the beginning of the Internet era, SEO has been a rather technical process—something that involved your content writer and your web developer to assign the proper meta tags within the HTML code, as well as add certain number of keywords or phrases into the content of your web-page.
What is SEO now?
There has been a drastic and phenomenal change in the way websites are ranked in search engines today such as Google. We’re beginning to see aspects of social engagement play a factor in page rank—consistent original content, likes, shares, comments, retweets, pins are making a difference.
Social Media and SEO
- SEO is no more as easy as it used to be. There is much more than using keywords and meta tags, and a lot more restrictions from Google as to what you can and cannot do. Today, SEO involves publishing original content, audience acquisition and engagement on social media, and getting your brand name out there as an expert by getting content published on other sites. Does it sound like a lot of work? There’s much more!
- Using links is an important factor in ranking content. But over time, links have lost importance and turned meaningless due to issues like spamming, buying and selling of links. Social media comes as a savior here!
- If clicking on links was considered to be a way for people to “vote” in favour of sites, social media sharing represents a way of voting behaviour based on user sharing information. Social signals are emerging as important factors in ranking content as search engines determine how to leverage engagement and behaviour on social platforms.
- Social signals are actions taken by users across various social media sites that eventually spread web content. Examples include: Facebook likes, Twitter Re-Tweets, Pinterest pins, Google +1’s, etc.
These signals serve four main purposes:
- To mark your reputation amongst your target audience.
- To provide search engines, especially Google with appropriate content which is best for users.
- To give web users faith in content, because it has been ‘voted’ on by the masses.
- To increase and retain brand loyalty among genuine users by strengthening your social presence.
Speculating the digital landscape today, Facebook and YouTube each have more than 1 billion users respectively, Twitter more than 600 million, and Google+ more than 3 million.
With such massive usage of social platforms, the search engines are incorporating social signals into their search results in ever-increasing volumes and depth.
Thus, SEO by its very nature now requires the integration of social strategies for a brand to create a digital bang!