It is said that the hype around SEO will die down and businesses going forward will rather only be concerned with Social Media Optimisation, an all-encompassing concept that includes all elements of SEO. So what is SEO or search engine optimisation in the first place?
Search Engine Optimization is a tool deployed to more effectively market your products, services, or brand by utilising all aspects of the internet.
At the core of SEO, is the art of understanding how search engines are used, and therefore the importance of your website, your website content, social media content and strategy, as well as how you deploy your social media platforms.
I like referring to the above as Channel Linking. To support your SMO and SEO effort, ensure your channels are linked effectively, both amongst social media channels, social media and other website channels and all of the above, with your traditional multi-channel.
SEO loves a blog and your corporate blog should sit at the heart of your Channel Linking effort. When posting on your blog, and having linked your blog with other social platforms, a notification of your blog post will automatically be posted on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter, posted on Google+, posted on LinkedIn (and specifically groups on this network) and so on. This requires a single action – posting that blog post, yet you enjoy double, triple or a fourfold reach as opposed to reaching your audience on your blog only. Within your blog post itself, make use of links as search engines are specifically on the lookout for this. Link the right content to the right pages on your website to drive traffic to your site.
Another good example of Channel Linking can be found where platforms such as Twitter can be used to drive traffic to a desired location on your website, where your sales force or marketing team can further engage with visitors via more traditional communication channels, such as live web chat. By deploying a website visitor tracking tool, you can track the effectiveness of this strategy by monitoring the start journey of your visitors from a link posted on Twitter. Having the right KPIs to track the effectiveness of your Channel Linking effort is critical to shape, amend and improve your strategy in the future so make sure you have the necessary in place to track what you are doing.
Developments are happening fast and Colayco forecasts several trends website owners can anticipate in 2014. He argues that, Social media is more important in the context of marketing across the internet than it has ever been. According to Colayco:
“Today, the algorithms in the search engines are geared more towards understanding and appreciating the important of social signals. Having shares, likes, posts, comments and followers will expand your business ot only in the branding aspect of your business, but the search engines as well.”
It immediately becomes very clear that there is a bigger picture here and that social media cannot be treated in isolation of your SEO. At the same time, SEO is never only relevant to your website and channels can be linked as part of a more integrated and effective strategy to drive your marketing effort and generate traffic. The key is to approach your SEO strategy as an tool that has benefits for various functions in the business. Bring your ICT, marketing, customer engagement, creative and social media teams together, and plan your SEO strategy across the full spectrum with the input of all interested stakeholders.
Your fully integrated SEO strategy coupled with a SMO and Channel Linking effort will yield great benefits for your business in the short and long term. The sooner you learn this art as a whole, the better it will support your marketing effort.