Friday, August 7, 2009

SEO and Social Media - Six Tips to Optimize

As budgets shift from traditional marketing/advertising efforts to digital, if companies don’t embrace SEO in a holistic strategy, they’re leaving a potential audience member out there unable to find them, and that’s very impactful on ROI. Do you want to enhance your social media efforts? How do you do that? Did you search today for SEO or Social Media? Somehow we found each other, and I’m pretty sure it had something to do with search.

To understand the true power of the internet, it’s critical that you understand how its engine runs - SEARCH. The fuel this engine requires isn’t diesel - it’s keywords, and SEO. Going back to my school days, I remember doing research and having the librarian bring me to the card catalog section (WOW, did I just date myself or what?) Well, you pretty much get the idea, that in order to find some information source, before the world wide web took really took off (imagine a world pre-Google, huh?) information was catalogued in alphabetical order and assigned a number, typed on these little cards in LONG drawers. So it was a multiple step process. And it always seemed the card that you needed with information on where to find the BOOK that had the information you were looking for was in the BACK of the drawer. Then to separate the tiny cards and read the number, you had to pull out and carry that long box with you to some table. Then you would have to put that LONG drawer back and then go and find the book somewhere. WOW. And microfiche? Ok, let’s not even go there - I think I’ve made my point.

So, now we’ve got this monster machine - a monster truck, if you will. And the fuel its engine requires is compelling content that is SEO friendly. So people can find you EASILY without having to pull out a long wooden drawer with tiny cards. So here are five tips to make your social media campaigns more impactful. You are fortunate to have the power to track the metrics with online tools, to see how people may land at your blog, website, facebook page - the tools are there for you, and you can always seek to improve not just your content, but the searchability of your campaigns with thoughtful and strategic use of SEO:

1. Find out where your audience is.
You have an amazing opportunity to understand not only basic demographic information , but also lifestyle (psychographic) data such as their preferences, their preferred methods of publishing, behaviors and more. If you are a company (or an individual!) that is already involved some way in social media, you have a good idea where you can start. You can track the conversations, and identify keywords and also influencers (Please see my previous posts on web analytics tools that track powerful metrics, including Radian6 and Twitalyzer).

2. Add relevant keywords to your title and ads.
ESPECIALLY if your marketing efforts are tied to a revenue stream that is closely tied to PPC. Maybe you have a facebook ad campaign, where you can buy by CPC (clicks) or CPM (impressions). Or maybe you’re a blogger who wants to drive more traffic and build audience. And wouldn’t it just tie all together if you were a blogger who had a Google Ad campaign with revenue reliant on SEO? SEO and PPC are so closely tied together because it’s the search that will bring the potential customer to you or an ad will come to them because they were searching for a particular keyword.
I always try to take into consideration that people are pretty tight on time. Not only do people cut back in the way they spend their dollars, but also valuable, and to some maybe moreso, TIME. So to best illustrate this example, do you subscribe to an RSS feed, and maybe a few of them, and do a quick scan for the relevant keywords? So take a look at before: “Do you want to know how to optimize your social media campaigns?” and after: “Five Tips on SEO to Improve Your Social Media Campaigns.” By adding SEO to the title, I can engage people who are searching for that and invite them to join the conversation. Even further, now you know it’s just five tips and won’t take up too much of your time, so you can get back to YOU.

3. Optimize your word placement.
So I take you one step further, taking a look at step 2, with relevant keywords included, I can now bring those keywords from before: “Five Tips on SEO to Improve Your Social Media Campaigns” to after: “SEO - Optimize Your eMarketing/Social Media Campaigns - Five Tips.” Doing this will drive your search engine rankings higher

4. Get to the point.
It’s not WHAT you say, it’s how you SAY it. It’s just my marketing nature to know that people pretty much need to know WHY they need to listen to what you have to say. And if you’re lucky to be able to have a persuasive enough reason, then you can invite the conversation and convert. And the best thing that can happen is that they will bring their friends. It’s a happy marriage, but people don’t want to give you their time in the online “clutterverse.” I believe people truly want to do good, but it’s human nature to find the easy way out, and don’t have the time to focus their attention on what you have to say, unless you make it as easy for them as you can to get your message across in a nanosecond. Then you can invite them on in. Compelling content creation is an art, and it takes years of refinement - luckily, there are a lot of us that share free content for you to be able to see what the hot topics are, how they’re being shared. You have to have a love for a lifetime learning, and being thankful that you don’t have to go to the back of the card catalog to find it!

5. Go beyond text with pictures.
Not all search engines are the same. There are those that are human-powered and reliant on information being indexed and catalogued, but there are crawler-based search engines that use automated software (crawlers) that checks sites for relevant information and deposits it into some central depository, where its data is indexed. Every crawler is different, based on what its administrators have it do, and how often it periodically returns to sites to see what has changed.
If you are driving people to your website, then you should have some understanding of HTML code and metatags. And every one of us has the ability to drive up our rankings by using relevant keywords in the source code, and also the description of web PICTURES. Ever seen a Google Images search? If you have been surprised at the pictures that pop up when you search for a particular keyword, then you can bet is was the description in the code behind the scenes that drove up its ranking!

6. Keep it current.
So if you want to optimize the way people reach your content and especially your PPC/CPM ad campaigns, you owe it to your audience to keep up to date with a finger on the pulse of hot trends, ever-emerging technologies, by subscribing to industry alerts, enewsletters, blogs, and relevant online communities. How did this information come to you? It wasn’t by accident, I bet it was SEO in your social media efforts. And you have an ever-growing bag of tools to help you optimize. And no more card catalogues!

Posted via web from vickie_smith's posterous


  1. Hi Vickie!

    I love that you're continuing the dialogue about the importance of search in social. One great way listening can help: informing you about whether discussions about your company and brand are using the words YOU use, or whether you need to adjust your messaging to speak the language of your community and customers.

    Thanks again for the mention.

    Amber Naslund
    Director of Community, Radian6

  2. Hi Amber - great to hear your thoughts - Thanks for popping in to comment, it's not like I didn't think you'd find my post including guys do a great job of that. If I didn't include the word in my post, would you have found me? case in point, I guess...