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.