Search engine optimization
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of getting traffic from the free, organic, editorial, or natural search results on the search engines. Simply put, it’s the name given to the activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings. In many respects, it’s simply quality control for websites.
SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, and news search engines. Employing a sound SEO strategy will help you position your website properly to be found at the most critical points in the buying process or when people need your site.
Search Engine Crawlers
The leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!, use crawlers to find the pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically.
Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site. Not every page is indexed by the search engines. Distance of pages from the root directory of a site may also be a factor in whether or not pages get crawled.
Points to Note
You should be careful to keep the following points in mind in order to ensure your brand is well positioned on search engines −
Search engines want to do their jobs as best as possible by referring users to websites and content that is most relevant to what the user is looking for. This is determined by the site content, how fast your site loads, how often your site is linked to from other credible online resources, and user experience, including design, navigation and bounce rate.
The items that the search engines don’t want are: keyword stuffing, buying links, and poor user experience (too many ads and high bounce rates).
Domain naming is important to your overall branding. As a best practice, use sub-directory root domains (example.com/events) versus sub-domains (events.example.com). Other best practices with domain names are to use consistent domains and keywords in the URL.
Optimize for different types of results. In addition to optimizing for desktop experience, focus on mobile and tablet optimization along with other media.
Content on the site should have title tags and meta descriptions. Although meta tags aren’t as important as they used to be in the past; if you do use them, ensure they are formatted correctly.
Social media today is essentially word-of-mouth marketing. Getting people to connect with you online in the social arena helps spread the word about what your company is and what are your products and services.
SEO and Social Media
For many teams, there are different sets of people who work on SEO and social media separately; however, this scenario is changing lately.
The two may still officially belong to separate teams, but social media marketers will need to be more informed on the SEO strategist’s agenda, so that the SEO strategy can go hand-in-hand with content promotion.
SEO strategists too need to know how to work with social media marketers in order to receive the social signals it needs to make sure their company ranks high in search.
There are two functions of social media for business −
Are you participating in the conversation and sharing?
Are you listening and monitoring what is being said about you?
Start Social Media Marketing
If you’re starting from scratch with your social media strategy, here are the basic steps to get you started −
Step 1 − Choose your social networks
Step 2 − Fill your profiles completely, remembering to load in your keywords
Step 3 − Find your voice and tone
Step 4 − Pick your posting strategy – how often, when, and what type of content
Step 5 − Analyze and test
Step 6 − Automate and engage
Although we’ll be getting into the specifics in the latter half of the tutorial, here are a few things to consider in your general social media strategy.
Facebook tops the list of social media strategy
For many, social media starts with Facebook. Just having a page, however, does not suffice. Sophisticated content marketing is now the way to foster engagement on Facebook. If your business doesn’t have a content marketing strategy or a blog, but wants to maintain a strong Facebook presence, it may be time to create a content marketing strategy for Facebook. We’ll get to know more on this in a subsequent chapter.
Optimize for mobile
All social media efforts need to be optimized for mobile. You’ve probably heard, but everyone needs to make sure their websites are optimized for mobile. Social media managers need to be aware of this to ensure that the format of any promotions they do (especially those that include driving people to their company websites) are optimized for mobile. Any images used on social media should also be viewable on mobile for optimized user experience.
Emphasize on human experience
It may be digital, but you need to consider the “human experience.” Google and Facebook have made changes to their platforms to push businesses to focus more on the “human experience.” For social media marketers, your social media posts need to be more relevant, provide more value to your audience, and the engagement needs to be more “human.”