Experts Speak: Social-SEO Starter Kit
Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are now an important part of the digital world for consumers, and search engines have taken aggressive steps to weave the social experience into the results pages.
What specific steps have your fellow digital professionals taken to be more social-SEO minded? What were the results and what software solutions or third parties have helped in these efforts? Eight new media professionals weigh in…
Christina Dillon, Social Media Manager for ObservEye.com
As part of an overall campaign to increase brand awareness, ObservEye is in the process of taking measures to boost social and SEO efforts. We're finding that the lines between social media, PR and SEO are getting more and more blurry with each Google algorithm update. Getting back to the basics, SEO is all about proving that your site is an authority. What better way to do this then to become an authority? We've recently signed on with Vocus to send two press releases per month and manage our social accounts (Facebook and Twitter). The press releases are done in an effort to get people talking about the brand (social), but they are also providing a great SEO value in the form of backlinks. We're also running a Facebook contest to boost our social status and engage with more of the people who are interested in our offering. This is mostly a social effort, but many SEO experts assert that social signals are of great importance in SEO.
Jeff Bedford, Digital Strategist at Anvil Media, Inc.
We advise many clients on being active in social to enhance their SEO visibility. We highly encourage organic content distribution through all social networks, and lay out a different schedule for each network depending on its implied etiquette and purpose. Google+ is becoming more and more important for a couple of reasons. First, this is one of the best ways to get content indexed quickly, so if you have a time sensitive piece of content it is essential to place via Google+ as soon as you can. Google+ is also important for authorship. The people who are writing articles are building identity and rank, and it is becoming very competitive. It is essential for content authors to build authority and reputation on Google+, as this eventually becomes a major ranking factor when content is published and linked to their account.
As far as tools, we really like what HootSuite provides in terms of content distribution and the ability to bulk upload. In terms of reporting, there are plenty of options, but it really depends on what you are using social for and what you want to measure. The answers to those questions usually determine the direction we move to for reporting.
Zane Schwarzlose, SEO Specialist at Fahrenheit Marketing
Probably the most valuable tool we're using to combine our SEO and social media efforts is HootSuite a social media management dashboard. We create a lot of content on behalf of our clients and we needed a quick way to broadcast that content across a variety of social media channels.
HootSuite has the features we need to socially syndicate 800 pieces of unique content each month.
Douglas Karr, CEO of DK New Media
We've been working with all of our clients on this very strategy - implementing authorship, ensuring there's an active social outreach and networking program, and measuring the impact of social sharing on search engine traffic through to conversions. We also actively produce Whitepapers and infographics for our clients - these are easily shareable via social but drive great authority to search engines when referenced by external sites.
We utilize Viralheat, Visistat and SEMRush.
Our results are universal increases in both organic and social traffic that has led to conversions for our clients.
Lauren Bowling, Content & Social Media Specialist at AchieveIt
We are AchieveIt, a strategic planning software start-up headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Because we are a start-up, we run an in-house marketing department on a tiny budget. In fact, most of our tactics are free to us, which is why we are such big fans of using SEO to boost our Google rankings for search traffic.
A few of the things we've done to help our SEO campaign is publishing press releases using the Vocus marketing suite to create links back to our site, publishing new landing page "tutorials" (The Launchpad section of our website) and our most successful initiative yet: creative infographics that have been a big hit on Twitter.
Marc Engelsman, Director, Strategy & Analytics at Digital Brand Expressions
We have one publishing client, the Oakland Press, where we used a Facebook contest to generate awareness/engagement as well as improve SEO domain authority ranking. Not only did the program result in over 1,300,000 Facebook impressions and increased fans/likes by 20 percent, but search-referred traffic to the Oakland Press website also grew 49 percent for the month. The press release announcing the contest received more than 18,000 impressions, 1,800 media deliveries and 1,600 pick-ups on Google.
Andrew Schrage, Co-Owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance
One way Money Crashers has combined social media and SEO is by regularly linking content on our social media pages, which has been great especially when you consider the trickledown effect it can have when our followers further promote our pieces after seeing them mentioned on our social media channels. Also, posting content in the late morning hours gets us the most click-throughs (rather than in the middle of the night), so we avoid any type of automated Tweets or Facebook messages. We regularly reach out to our social media followers to ask what kinds of content they want more of, and we do our best to tie our content in with current events. Once we began to focus on a combined SEO/social media strategy, we noticed an increase in followers and traffic.
We haven't personally used it, but one of the best software programs available to assist with integrating SEO with social media is offered by HubSpot.
Patrick Coombe, CEO of Elite Strategies
We regularly optimize our website for keywords that other businesses search for to find us. For instance, we appear at the top for "florida SEO" which is searched 100s of times every month. This brings in at the very least 3-4 emails and an equal amount of phone calls which result in new business.
As far as software or technologies, we use several tools to assist us with this process:
1. ahrefs.com - Backlinks to your website are the largest determining factor to SEO success. What this tool does is give you a breakdown of the amount and type of backlinks you have, as well as scores your website on a quality scale based on the search engines standards.
2. SEOmoz - This is very powerful tool is one of the most popular on the market today. This is an interactive tool that is a lot like ahrefs.com but gives you tips on how to improve different aspects of SEO.