If you know anything about SEO, you know that social media does not help it, right? The general consensus is that to rank better in Google you need “do follow” links, and all major social media sites add the rel=”nofollow” tag to links – therefore, social media cannot help with SEO. Well, although technically social media may not help SEO, a good social campaign can go a long way to getting your business closer to the top of the SERPs.
There are now over a billion people registered on Facebook; almost every adult in the developed world under the age of 50 has a Facebook account. As well as Facebook, there are Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. According to eMarketer, nearly one in four people are using social media to some extent in their everyday lives. With this figure in mind, it is hard to believe that having a social presence cannot help your website grow in organic search.
Social media does help with SEO, both directly and indirectly. Let’s look at how.
Tweets in Google Search
Google has started indexing Tweets again. In February, 2015, Google and Twitter agreed to a deal to allow Google to index Tweets in the search results.
Google first included Tweets in search in 2011, as part of its real-time search feature. However, Google chose to stop real-time search, probably due to the huge resources not being met by sufficient demand.
Google is now indexing Twitter’s top 50,000 hashtags as well as indexing individual tweets. If you plan your Twitter campaigns with this in mind, you may be able to get your Twitter posts on the first page of Google.
Social Profiles are Indexed Search
If you create a Facebook page, this will be indexed by Google. Optimizing the content on your Facebook page can increase its position in Google search, and this will help drive more searchers to your social media profile, which in turn, should send more people to your website.
Social is more important in Bing
Bing has stated that it considers, to some extent, the social authority of people and link this to how well their content is ranked. For example, Bing’s Local Search service will push Tweets from more popular business owners to the top of the listings when they match the terms used in the search query.
Social Media Search Engines
When we talk of search and SEO, we often forget that the various social media sites are search engines in their own right. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest all allow people to search for information. By creating a strong social presence on these platforms you increase the chances of being found by their users.
Social media can also help make influencers aware of your website. For example, if you release an important news item that is shared across Facebook and Twitter, it may be seen by the local press or bloggers who will then write their own report and link to you.
In the early days of the web, webmasters would contact other sites to ask them to link to their latest page. Because the web is so crowded, this is rarely effective. However, if a website owner sees something interesting in their social streams, they may “blog it” and this will help boost your Google SEO.
Developing an effective social media strategy is a combination of science and art. If you wish to see your brand rise up across all search engines, consider hiring an SEO company to create and implement a campaign on your behalf.
License: Image author owned
Danny Hall is the Co-Director of Freelance SEO Essex, a leading digital marketing agency that covers Essex, London and surrounding counties.
Do you have a content strategy? I don’t mean a general plan about how often you will post, and how much. I mean a really solid, complete and comprehensive strategy in place that addresses all of the major concerns involved in running a blog.
A content strategy will plan not only when you post, but what those posts will contain. It will have possible themes, ways that it ties in with social media, types of content and how it can be tied to, or dominated by visuals. Most importantly, it will have an explanation of how such a strategy can help your blog grow, and in what time frame you want to begin to see progress.
Of course, progress could mean any number of things. Maybe you want greater consistent traffic to your blog itself. Perhaps you are more concerned with social media engagement and sharing. You could even be hoping to gain viral recognition as a goal, or to generate a real profit through passive means, such as affiliate marketing or PPC.
Whatever the case, a great way to strengthen your content strategy is to know what the other guy is doing. Competitor research will both show you what you are up against in terms of drawing public interest, and present you with some new ideas to implement on your own blog.
Use Competitor Research for Content Marketing Inspiration
There are several ways that you can use competitor research to begin to strengthen your content strategy. The first thing you should do is isolate your biggest contenders, and then figure out the biggest names. This will make up two different lists to check out, one that is more of a shining example of the industry’s biggest traffic generators, and the other who you are pitted against personally.
You should be able to find out the following details from each list, and use that to customize a more targeted and thorough strategy for yourself.
Theme Days: One of the popular methods that well known blogs (which are not news blogs, for example) gain exposure is by having theme days that help to brand them. But not all theme days are created equal, and you might have attempted this with lackluster results. The other guys might have stumbled upon a more successful method that could give you a spark of inspiration. Take some time to go over various blogs that do theme days, and then figure out what those successful ones have in common. Use this information to create one of your own that takes from their ideas, but firmly targets your own readership and their interests.
High Ranking Content Topics: Some topics are more read than others, we all know that. But with the changing tide of interest, it is usually style that remains consistent, not substance. For a look at what is currently popular, you only have to look at what is ranking high in traffic at other blogs. What posts are being shared the most? What comes up in a Google search? How many comments, or other proofs of engagement are there?
Find High Ranking Keywords: Just like content subjects, keywords are important. What is it that your competitors are ranking high in? What are they exploiting for their SEM and SEO? Find out what is pushing traffic their way, and then start trying to really nail those particular keywords home. You may find yourself getting some of their traffic.
Find Opportunities For Guest Blogging: This is a whole other tactic, but one you might wanna try. Go to another blog that is more successful than your own, and has a larger viewer base. Then ask them if they will take a guest post, making sure to give them a proper pitch. Guest posting is still a fantastic way to drive people to your blog, while offering valuable content and establishing you as an industry expert. You can end up with a wide array of new readers, many of whom will become dedicated followers of your blog using this tactic.
Discover Where They Are Lacking: Is there a topic in your industry that you know gets people’s blood up (or at least peaks their interest), and you don’t see it being properly addressed on another site? It is time to start filling in the gap and talking about what other people aren’t. This is a great way to create fresh posts on a topic that hasn’t been done to death. All while differentiating you from those other blogs and maybe poaching some of their readers.
Researching competitors is the perfect way to begin building a better, more solid content strategy for your own website. With this strategy in place, you will see your site beginning to grow. That is the first step towards real profitability, and we all want to monetize our blogs, right?
A social media professional can assist you in creating a targeted plan that will help you best connect with your target audience, giving you the best possible impact socially.
I hope this video has been helpful. If you’ve been struggling with the social media side of your strategy, it may be time to consult with a professional. Contact us today for a free consultation at 866-651-3073.
We are continuing our discussion on How to Find Your Niche; specifically one(s) that pays. This week we’re going to look at our next step, which is Get Active in Social Networks.
Start watching and monitoring all social networks for mentions of your keyword/specific topic. Don’t neglect this step, because Groups are where you’ll really see what people are talking about – and whether or not there’s a paid product or service you could create or promote.
For B2B niche focuses, LinkedIn Groups are great. You can post anchor text directly to pages on your site and offer products, if you do it within parameters and tastefully (i.e. with a focus on helping).
For hobby or lifestyle niches, for example, low carb dieting, Facebook Groups are rampant at the moment. In fact, the sheer number of groups on a topic can be a clear indicator that a specialty niche is not only strong, but active.
Follow the same steps outlined in the previous step to research niches based on your past experience and on topics you’d like to devote yourself to mastering.
In the end, however, it is still a matter to some degree of guesswork: Research plus inspiration. Stay focused on your niche specialty – and look for clues and opportunities everywhere!
Finally, once you’ve chosen a selection of likely keywords, be sure to search for them again, using qualifying words such as :
Also look to see if there are multiple magazine articles on the topic. Unlike bloggers and online hobbyists, magazines will not invest in an article unless the topic is a money maker.
That’s the best way to “hit” on a strong, paying topic.
What steps did you take to find a paying niche or are you in the process of finding one? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section.
As I mentioned previously, in this series (How to Find Your Niche) I’ll be sharing summaries of the seven (7) steps that are included in the workbook, The Riches are in the Niches: How to Find Your Niche. Go here to pick up the full version of your workbook.
Come back next week as we continue our discussion on How to Find Your Niche. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!
We hosted a webinar on “21 Ways to be a Social Media Superstar” and are sharing the recording with you. We also discussed this topic a couple of months ago over the course of a three-part series in our blog. Go here to read the posts.
In the webinar we covered 21 tips on how to be a social media expert. You can use the tips to train yourself or others that you are coaching or training in the area of social media marketing. Go here to view the webinar.
Have you used any of these strategies we discussed in the webinar in your business? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for viewing, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!
In order to drive traffic to your website, you need to have an online presence. There are various strategies you can take advantage of to drive free traffic to your site. How will your target audience know your products and/or services are available, if they never visit your site? Although the following techniques are free, they will cost you time.
Social media is a great method for driving traffic to your site. Not only can you connect with family and friends, you can also create new connections in your target market. Be sure to add your website link, where appropriate, in your posts.
When setting up your social media profiles, sprinkle keywords throughout your profiles that your target audience will use when searching for your products and/or services. Although, this is a SEO (search engine optimization) strategy, it will drive free traffic to your website.
Blogging definitely increases the amount of traffic to your site. Search engines love fresh, valuable content, which, in turn, will help your page ranking. Content is king. You can also be a guest blogger on blogs in your niche, as well as comment on these particular blogs. Be sure to include share buttons on your blog making it easy for your website visitors to share your posts on social networks driving even more traffic to your site.
We are rapidly becoming a visual society where we prefer videos over text. Creating videos aimed at your niche will drive free traffic to your site. In fact, YouTube is known as a social media site, as well as a social network because of the ability to share videos and connect. Go here to view a video that answers the question, “Is YouTube Considered a Social Media Website?”
Participating in forums and groups related to your website, product or service can drive free traffic to your website. Last week, we published a post, which mentioned that LinkedIn now has 1.5 million groups. Again, adding your link to your posts will drive traffic to your site.
Write articles related to the topic of your website. Include keywords that are popular in your niche. Look for article directories, ezine owners, and webmasters who rank well for your keywords to submit your articles to for inclusion.
These are a few ways to drive free traffic to your site. As I mentioned, at the beginning of this post that although the above-mentioned strategies are free, they do cost time, but these methods will drive traffic to your website. If you are limited on time, outsource those traffic-driving tasks that don’t require your immediate attention to your trusted Virtual Assistant.
Have you used any of these methods to drive free traffic to your site? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!
Social Media Marketing is widely used today by marketers to connect with existing customers, as well as potential clients. Marketers are seeing social media marketing as very valuable to their business. It’s vital for business development and should be included in your marketing plan.
In an article in AccountingWEB by Michael Alter, he states that in a recent survey, 73 percent of salespeople who uses social media outperform those who don’t. Go here to read his article in its entirety.
In a 2013 end-of-the-year report by Social Media Examiner, 86 percent of marketers stated that social media is important for their business, while 89 percent of marketers stated that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing. Go here to pick up that report.
Facebook is still the largest network and is yet growing. It now has over 1.15 billion users. According to an article in Social Media Today by Phillipa Kiripatea, 50 percent of Facebook users check their profile every day, while 23 percent do it 5 or more times a day! In 2013, 54 percent of marketers acquired a customer through Facebook. Facebook is a popular social platform for interacting with potential clients. This is a huge opportunity for you to market your brand to your followers. Go here to read Phillipa’s article.
Google+ is the second most actively used platform with over 343 million active users and has over 500 million total users*; however, when you sign up for a Gmail account, you have to open a Google+ account. This is driving up the numbers. 67 percent of the users are male and 40 percent of marketers use Google+. Keep in mind using Google+ can have a huge impact on your business in regards to search engine results. Go here to read more about using Google+ for your business and the importance of doing so.
Twitter has over 500 million users and over 288 million monthly active users. The fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds. In 2013, 36 percent of businesses gained a new customer through Twitter. 60 percent of Twitter users access their accounts using mobile. So, make sure your website is mobile friendly.
LinkedIn has over 238 million users and there are 1.5 million LinkedIn groups. It is known as a platform for college graduates. 50 percent of the users have Bachelor’s or Graduate degrees. This network is strictly for business connections.
Pinterest is the fastest growing network with women being the majority of users, over 69 percent. This network is great for driving organic traffic.
Check out this cool infographic from Digital Insights on social media statistics.
*There is controversy over the number of Google+ users. A recent report shows where Google+ has over 1 billions users; however, it’s not clear if this is the total number of users or Google accounts; i.e., Android users, Gmail users, Google+ users, Google pages, and/or Google communities.
Choosing a Social Network
If you’re not using social media for business development, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Chances are, your competitors have included social media marketing in their marketing plan. The key is to select social networks where your current and potential clients hang out in order to connect with them. Your connections will drive the expansion of your business.
Being an active user of social media networks can be time-consuming. Outsource the tasks that don’t require your immediate attention to your trusted Virtual Assistant, while you focus on your followers. There are virtual assistants who specializes in social media marketing.
Have you acquired any clients through social media marketing? We would love to hear your experiences, ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons!
We are finishing up our series on “21 Ways to Be a Social Media Superstar” covering the last seven methods.
Develop Relationships with “Key Influencers”
Don’t just focus on your fans – actively follow and respond to your own favorite “key influencers” in the social media niche. We’ve already spoken about crediting them and sharing their work. Responding to polls, quizzes and sharing your own tips will help get you noticed too.Do make sure you visit their feeds and interact regularly; however, never just for the sake of interacting, but the more often your Profile Photo appears next to a really helpful post or detail-specific comment, the better your chances are of being noticed and remembered.
Create Useful Infographics
The beauty of infographics lies in the fact they are (a) seen instantly (b) judged on the spot. This not only prequalifies your reader in whether or not they click through, it helps make your statistics more accurate. On top of that, when people love an infographic, they click on it. Sounds obvious – but it’s the quickest way to get people to access your key information on social media. A blog post link with a photo? Possibly. A blog post link without a photo? Maybe, if your headline is catchy enough. But an infographic can be accessed – and assessed – at a glance. If it’s liked, it will be shared with one simple click.
Use Fiverr if You’re Just Getting Started
If you’re starting out on a shoestring budget, save time and get professional products like infographics or Facebook Cover Photos created for $5.00 by trying out Fiverr freelance offers.Look for excellent ratings and reviews – and just try out one project at a time until you’re sure the outsource contractor you’re using really knows what to do. (But once you’ve got that professional product in your hands, expect to pay more, if your contractor is worth his or her salt. This type of contractor will only be offering deals on Fiverr as limited samples).
If you stop and study how often top social media experts run contests, you’ll also see how much viral buzz and interaction these generate! Just be sure to check with your local area rules and guidelines, as well as with rules and guidelines for the specific social platform you want to use.Remember that you can easily create contest Apps using free or inexpensive services and tools such as ShortStack.
Offer a Service Sample for Free
You can also use an App to offer service samples for free; or in conjunction with some other offer; or as a contest, as Mari Smith has done in the example below.
Track your Conversions
Facebook in particular (and many other social networks) provide tools that allow you to track your conversions.This simply means finding out how many people take the actions you ask or drive them to take on that network. Track, and you will quickly find out the “hot buttons” your particular audience best responds to. It’s amazing how many would-be social media experts don’t bother to track, so get the edge on them and start doing so!
Another seemingly obvious tip that a staggering majority of would-be social media experts ignore is simply be active on your networks daily – preferably when your target audience is present. Respond, comment, “Like”, thank and question. You’ll build trust – and a community. And that’s really what becoming a social media expert is all about!
Do you use any methods to becoming a social media superstar that we haven’t covered in our 3-part series? We would love to hear your ideas, thoughts, and/or suggestions. Join the conversation below by commenting in our comments section. As always, thanks for reading, and please share this post by clicking on the share buttons below!