I have discussed with a number of people recently the debate about what is considered Search Engine Optimization and what is considered Social Media. To tell you the truth, I feel like they are starting to blend together to become the ultimate marketing machine on the web. To create an effective internet marketing strategy you really can’t have one without the other. Content Development, Link Building, Organic Traffic Growth, User Engagement….the list goes on about how Search Engine Optimization and Social Media can work together to amplify your end results.
Lets examine a number of strategies to see how one can’t survive without the other.
Content Development Joins Content Promotion
Creating unique content that contains good title tags, h tags, keyword usage,and keyword-rich urls will only take you so far. Sure your content can get you some great organic traffic and create loyal readers, however if you want to create more traffic exponentially you need to promote it. This is where social content promotion comes into play. Building a twitter following, gaining facebook fans, building relationships with bloggers, commenting on other peoples blog, answering questions in forums & Q&A sites, promoting other peoples content…all will help take your content visibility from good to great!
Link Building Joins Social Sharing
Building links comes with a number of different strategies. You may be building localized links, extremely relevant links, high PR links, links for traffic, etc… From the social side, you may be social bookmarking content, submitting content to web 2.0 sites that link back to your site, and even though Twitter and Facebook use nofollow on their links, it can still be effective strictly because of the traffic that it brings to your site. Now that Google and other engines are indexing real time updates, social status updates can be a form of link building. If you are a guest speaker at a conference and it is one thing to get a link from the conference website, but to bring in the social element by live tweets, Ustream video, and live blogging can bring in more viral links, than just one link from the website.
Conversion Rate Optimization Joins On-Site Social Engagements
Personally, I feel that improving your site’s usability and conversion rate falls under the SEO umbrella. So how can social media help? There are a number of ways you can add social media elements to your site for better usability and higher conversion rates. Things like Facebook and Twitter connect allows users to signup on a website or blog by using their social media account. Pulling in Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin updates can keep users on your site longer so they can read your updates and check out your links. Embedding Slideshare and Docstoc files into your website will allow people to see this rich documents while not having to leave your site.
SEO Strategy Joins Social Media Strategy
When you are creating your overall Internet Marketing strategy, there needs to be some continuity across your tactics. For example, if you are formulating your website architecture and layout, you may want to figure out ways to bring in social elements throughout the site. Things like your blog RSS feed, twitter feed, facebook fan page widget, social bookmarking buttons all should be part of the overall strategy of building great content and promoting it.
I would love to hear what you guys think about the relationship with SEO and Social Media. Do you that they are blending together? If so, are there other ways you have noticed that SEO and Social Media are interacting to form a complete marketing strategy.
Social media has become so important that Google has begun using Twitter, Facebook and other social media when configuring its search engine results. My new rule, which I stole from Faissal Alhaithami, is: Facebook + twitter + Youtube > Google My recent post 5 Best iPhone Twitter apps
This is even more true now that Google has announced that they're using social media signals in their ranking algorithm. All of these disparate activities are now very closely related and you're right that we need a plan that's going to handle Internet marketing across all the platforms. Nice insight from a year ago!
An odd bi-product of the SEO/Social Media evolution is the renewed importance of landing pages and homepages. With Google Instant Preview, your SEO campaign depends more on a strong home page - not less. Same for Social Media, the conversions are better when the relevance is obvious. That spells bad news to Flash-heavy, slow loading or poorly designed sites. Depending on your buyer, Mobile access adds yet another critical layer.
Excellent article. I work as a Web2.0 Marketing Manager for a premier B2B portal; and yes, SEO, SEM and SMM are inseparable; in fact, if a b2b/b2c/c2c portal wants to increase its brand awareness on the web and position themselves in some unique fashion in the long run, then all these 3 components of web2.0 marketing needs to be implemented. All in all, excellent read.
Woops, the white bg didn't appear on my Droid back then - your site looks great on my laptop now though :-)
It only really becomes blurred when you loosen the definition of SEO. SEO focuses around improving search engine rankings, which then has the knock-on effect of directing traffic. Social media does not improve search engine rankings but can direct traffic. There is a distinction, but obviously overall goal is the same. To say they are "starting to blend together" is not really accurate. Until social starts allows 'follow,' there will never be a blend.
I think the days of SEO and Social Media Marketing as separate entities are coming to an end. Facebook's expansion and the inclusion of real time search have created a paradigm shift of sorts.So I'd say you're right. We'll see more blending as time goes by,