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Why is social media optimization (SMO) and search engine optimization (SEO) important to my business?

social media business consultant

A few years ago, the idea of integrating social media with search engine optimization would have been scoffed at. However, now that most businesses use social media to share relevant content & information it’s not such a crazy idea.

According to the State of Search Marketing Report 2013, ‘74% of companies and 82% of agencies said that social media is either somewhat or highly integrated into their SEO strategy.’ (Kissmetrics)

In terms of SEO, historically businesses were advised to focus on particular keywords only. For example, if you’re an insurance company you may have been told to focus on the word ‘insurance” or maybe pairings like “commercial insurance” or “personal insurance.”  How Does Google Make Its Money: The 20 Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWords

Here is a list of the 273 most expensive keywords in Google (insurance shows up in several top spots!)  Check out this is an old infographic from WordStream – notice the CPC is about $20 more now? (In 2014 Google was allegedly making $2B in revenue from AdWords generated via the insurance industry alone!)

What’s changed? Google algorithm changes. That’s right. Before we used to focus on singular keywords now we’ve got to focus on keyword intent (meaning, what’s the intent behind the search?) This means that instead of using a singular keyword to drive a search user to a page that may rank high, (even though totally irrelevant) we could match them to the best content that would match their intentions.

e.g.: A person searches for commercial insurance, but instead of relevant content coming up your personal insurance page pops up. It shows up in search because you’ve optimized the words for that page (even if it’s not relevant.) Think of it this way, if this page was alongside true ‘commercial insurance’ pages from other company’s, what’s the likelihood that they’ll waste their time checking out your ‘personal insurance’ page?

Enter long tail searches.

What is a long tail search? These are keyword phrases that are specific to what you’re trying to do. e.g.: commercial insurance for fleet in Alberta

Now that we’ve covered off that long tail searches and social media should be integrated, what does all this mean?

(1) Social Media Profiles show up in searches. If you’re sharing content & links to your social sites like “commercial insurance for fleet in Alberta” on your social sites (linking back to your website) theoretically, this will get picked up in search as well (as long as it’s public.)

(2) Backlinks. This is up for debate. No one seems to know whether backlinks from sites like your Facebook business page to your website help. However, there is cause to believe that if others are sharing your website material on their Facebook pages (publicly available) that this may potentially help rankings.

(3) Advanced Search in Social Media Sites. do you always go to Google/Bing/Yahoo to find the answers you’re looking for? Many hop into social sites (like Twitter) to search for information. Not only is a great way to find information, it’s another way to send traffic back to your site by sharing information & links.

(4) Solid Content for Search User Intent

It’s up for debate that these two must be integrated now, but the truth is, no one truly knows. Operating on the idea that it could change based on the reliance on social media sites for search results isn’t a bad thing. If you’re active online, consider expanding to social sites where you can continue to be visible and valuable.

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