Most entrepreneurs have at least heard the terms Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM), and have some desire to leverage them to bring their business to new, otherwise untapped, markets. What exactly are these two marketing strategies, and how do they hinge on each other?
SEO Is About Visibility
When people talk about SEO, it really means changing the variables of a particular site, or profile, to make that site friendlier to search engines and to increase the visibility of that site, page or profile in targeted Search Engine queries.
There are many factors that impact where a particular website will display in the Search Results (SERPs), but a few of the factors include:
- Age of content on the pages of the site.
- How relevant the content is to the search query.
- Number and quality of other sites that link to your site.
SMM is Critical to a Well Rounded SEO Strategy
While SMM is not going to drive rankings on its own, it can play a vital role in an effective SEO Strategy. Social Media Marketing is not just Facebook or Twitter, but includes:
- Social Bookmarking (e.g., Delicious, Digg, etc)
- Geotargeted Sites (e.g., Foursquare, Google Places)
- Social Review Sites (e.g., Yelp!, Google Reviews, Yahoo! Reviews)
- Niche Social Media Sites (e.g., MySpace, Digital Radio, Etc)
SMM can help drive visibility
SMM, focused around a central hub (link to article blog as your hub of social networking), can drive key components of your SEO Strategy.
- Fresh Content – Search Engines love to see fresh content on a website. Blogs allow you to easily add valuable content to your website (more than sales content).
- High Quality Links – part of the algorithm Search Engines use to rank a site is the number and the quality of other sites that link back to you. Generally speaking, social networking sites are pretty powerful links back to your site. When you can get other users of the social network to also link back to you (e.g., social bookmarking), you’re developing a tremendous base of powerful links back to your site.
- Reaching a New Market – while this may not be a specific goal of your SEO campaign, it is nonetheless important. By reaching into social networks, you are reaching people who may not actually be out searching for your product, thus increasing your potential client base. NOTE: in the opinion of DirectiveGroup, driving more revenues from new customers far exceeds all other value offered by SEO.