Social Media is the shiny new toy in the toy box, but is there still room for your favourite SEO toy?
The apparent war between SEO and Social Media Marketing has been a high profile topic for the past few months. One particular article from the Guardian stated that ‘SEO is dead. Long live social media optimisation’.
One analogy for this war is to compare it to Toy Story. SEO is your trusty cowboy, a marketing tool guaranteed to get you results, but perhaps it can get a little stuck in a rut sometimes. Social Media is the brand new toy from outer space, everyone’s talking about it but it’s also stepping on a few people’s toes.
You might think that claiming SEO is dead would be a very divisive statement but, if you do a little digging, you’ll find that SEOs and Social Media marketers are all saying the same thing; we all use both, and they work best together.
Just like Woody and Buzz, SEO and Social Media are different, but they share some of the same qualities. Woody and Buzz ultimately want what’s best for Andy; Social Media and SEO just want the brand they represent to be the best it can be. And when they work together they can produce some good results, like increasing the traffic conversions on your site, or defeating Sid.
So how do you use them together to get the best for your site?
Well, Social Media Marketing is not spending a few minutes each morning scheduling Tweets and checking out Google+ communities for interesting content. It takes time and effort if you really want it to have an effect. But you can build a social media presence much more quickly than you can build an SEO campaign. Implementing the two ensures that you get short term and long term gains.
Some of SEO is based around using keywords sensibly at the right time and in the right place. Optimising your Meta Descriptions and Title Tags allows searchers to see exactly what it is you’re selling. You can employ the same technique with Social Media.
Whilst the response rate to direct self-promotion on social media is not high, publicising something that’s related to you is a great way to gain followers who are also potential customers. Use your keywords as hashtags on Twitter. So if you sell sports gear and there’s a major sporting event running tweet about it. It shows followers that you’re engaged with your industry and builds brand loyalty.
Be careful not to spam though, posting about something with a shameless number of hashtags will not create traffic and can drive people away.
Knowing who your target audience is is a major part of link building via blogs. There’s no point guest blogging on a site that’s totally irrelevant to your market. You have to choose sites that discuss topics your target market would be interested in. You have to know your audience.
The same is true of social media; knowing your followers is crucial to gaining impact. Find out when your followers are most active. Google+ users are most active first thing in the morning whilst Pinterest usage spikes late evening. Twitter and Facebook are popular mid-afternoon. Find out when your followers are active with tools like Follower Wonk for Twitter and LikeAlyzer for Facebook and release updates accordingly to hit your target audience at the best possible time.
So instead of pitting your social media against your SEO, why not try utilising both to more effect, to infinity and beyond!
This article was written by our SEO intern Rosamunde Wells.