Social Media: Hip, Happening, and How to Use it For SEO
There are a multitude of social media sites, some far more popular than others, but they all share one significant characteristic; they are one of the few forms of media to allow multiple avenues for interactive communication. No longer do internet users only receive information from the places they visit online, but they now have the ability to provide feedback on Web content, share entertainment, and to communicate with other users. This clearly provides progressive ways for socializing online, but Apogee Results, for our part, is capitalizing on this opportunity to enhance our clients’ search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Social media is widely considered when optimizing a site for SEO and for good reason—it can provide quality, inbound links, the coveted “link juice” that so powerfully drives the Google Search algorithm. Brian Combs, SVP of Apogee Results, says, “While some may debate the direct SEO benefit of social media links, their ability to generate large amounts of traffic is impressive. And this traffic may in turn generate truly organic links, which are the search engines’ favorite type of link.” As social media includes social networks, bookmarks, blogs, micro-blogs, wikis and video communities, to name a few, Apogee Results has found many of these social media channels as highly effective tools to drive traffic and increase SEO results.
Bookmarking sites, such as Digg, del.icio.us, and Reddit were among the first social media sites to be used for SEO. You can think of these as human search engines. Users tag content that they find useful or valuable -- content with more tags is listed higher in searches and throughout the Web site. Often other users will tag the same link if they find the site useful too. Therefore, bookmarking sites create a proliferation of links that other sites are unable to match. This social sharing of resources can then naturally drive traffic to your site because user’s peers are making recommendations.
One of the early social media developments and still a useful tool that Apogee has helped clients build is a corporate blog that partners and business consumers can read and comment on. Best practices in blog creation and promotion builds keyword-targeted links to your primary company site within your blog postings and have other bloggers link to and recommend your blog. This is an effective technique for business to business marketing, as blogs are helpful in maintaining strong relationships with clients. More frequent communication can prevent them from looking elsewhere for the services you offer and participating in industry blogs strengthens your reputation as an industry and thought leader.
Another successful social media strategy is utilizing Facebook Fan pages for clients, employees or other interested individuals to join and learn more about activities that your company is pursuing. Fan pages are crawlable by the search engines and offer interactive opportunities for people to be informed about your brand and interact through video, photos, and other media. An alternate social networking channel worth mentioning is MySpace. MySpace may not be the most appropriate social media strategy for all clients, but it is another way for businesses to gain “shelf space” in search engine rankings.
Businesses can create a YouTube channel showcasing traditional advertising commercials, product demos, and interviews. The channels can include links back to your company and can be highly customized to match the branding of the original site. Using videos in this way offers another opportunity to monetize the investment that video production inevitably requires. Proper tagging and descriptions for each video will increase the likelihood that the search engines index and return a YouTube video page within SERPs (search engine results pages).Social media is currently trendy, perhaps overly so, but will continue to grow, and will be an increasingly essential part of your marketing toolkit to current and prospective customers and influencers. Apogee Results has successfully helped a number of clients create social media campaigns and has seen firsthand the ability of these campaigns to increase traffic. We understand that the online community is dynamic and that success requires integrating innovative strategies with traditional SEO.
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