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How to Put the Social into the S of Your SEO

Customers come to your site through search via search engines. Basic concepts that help make your site friendly to search engines such as Google include: crawlable relevant content, site organization, links – both internal and inbound from external sites, keyword use, and code optimization. Today, customers also look for new content on Twitter, Facebook, their favorite blogs and links. Those social sites do more than talk directly to customers – they “provide positive signals to search engines and affect search visibility.”1 That means to remain cutting edge and maximize your searchability you need to go beyond the basic SEO concepts – you need to make your sites both “search and social media friendly.”1

  • Provide fresh content
    Search engine and social web users “respond favorably” to content that is frequently updated. The ability to search posts in real time, as in what’s happening right now, with tools such as search.twitter.com1, means that it’s vital you provide new content as often as possible.
  • Provide social content and interaction opportunities
    Today’s customers like to interact with brands – to know they are dealing with people, not just a company. If you don’t have a company blog, consider very strongly adding one. Providing user reviews, forums, and social network content expands the opportunities for consumers to interact. “The ability to create profiles, share interests, connect with others, vote/rate and comment on content make up the core behaviors of a social media friendly website.”2
  • Make your content easy to share
    It’s a good idea to offer customers share options with networking sites, bookmarking sites and social news websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, email, Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon. We know recommendations from real users rather than company “propaganda” is very powerful. The opportunity to have your happy customers spread the word has never been greater than now.
  • Syndication2
    Expand the reach of your content and bring offsite content to your website with syndication. This is accomplished with the RSS (real simple syndication) button you see on many sites. There are a lot of ways to add and use RSS. Here’s the link to Wikipedia RSS which will tell you everything you ever wanted to know, and then some, about RSS. If you want a specific “how to” on RSS, do a Google search on your specific question. There’s lots of great information out there.

If your website is not doing well in searchability there is no doubt you are losing valuable revenue and traffic. The “increasing demand for fresh, live Web content,”1 along with consumer expectations to be able to interact with their search results, means you need to add a dose of social media into your SEO basics if you want to remain competitive in today’s market.

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