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The SEO Value of Social Media

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Social Media and SEO have never been more intertwined than they are today. Not only are social media elements like Tweets and reviews making their way into search results, but Google’s new social …

Social Media and SEO have never been more intertwined than they are today. Not only are social media elements like Tweets and reviews making their way into search results, but Google’s new social search is a clear indicator that social media’s effect on search is going to continue to grow in importance. By aligning your social media campaign with SEO best practices and your optimization strategy, you not only maximize the ROI of your social media program, but you begin to set the foundation for future organic search success.

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  • 1. The SEO Value of Social MediaHow They Work Together
  • 2. Agenda1. Intro a) Who is This Presentation For? b) History of Search c) Convergence of Social Media and Search2. How Social Media Affects SEO a) Real Time Search b) Content c) Links d) Brand Related Search e) Directly (Tweets, Reviews, Etc) in Algo f) Social Search (Google, Facebook, Twitter) g) Reputation Management3. Measuring Social Media’s Impact on SEO a) Number of Links as a Metric i. Challenges ii. Tactics b) Attribution Analytics i. What it is / How it works ii. How to Use it
  • 3. Intro
  • 4. Who This is For?• Search marketers who want to understand how Social Media affects SEO• Social Media marketers that want to understand how their efforts impact SEO• Marketers who want to justify social media spend based on SEO ROI
  • 5. History of Search• First Generation- On Page (Meta and Title Data) Web 2.0• Second Generation – Off Page (Linking = Google) Off Page• Third Generation- Web On Page 2.0 & User Driven Search
  • 6. Convergence of Social Media and SEO• Social Media has been creating links and content since the first forum• Blogs became a huge force in the world of SEO• Social news sites like Digg began to significantly influence links• Universal search integrated Social Media components into search results (reviews, videos, etc)• Yelp reviews get pulled into Yahoo local search• YouTube is now the worlds second largest search engine• Twitter and Facebook search is very popular• Bing incorporates Tweets into search• Search engines adopt more ranking metrics based on Social Media mentions and sentiment
  • 7. How Social Media Affects SEO
  • 8. Real Time SearchGoogle now incorporates realtime search results from thefollowing sources:• Facebook• MySpace• FriendFeed• Jaiku• Identi.ca• Twitter• Yahoo Answers• News Articles• More
  • 9. Content• User generated content (UGC) can be generated through social media in a number of ways: – Forums – Blog Commenting / Guest Blogging – Reviews – Videos• Exceptional UGC tends to be keyword focused• Authoritative communities generate exceptional content and acquire links• SEO friendly community platforms like Lithium create content
  • 10. Content Exampleshttp://forums.digitalpoint.com/ http://www.adobe.comThreads: 1,521,781 According to Yahoo, Adobe has over 20K links to their DeveloperPosts: 12,365,175 Center.Members: 332,739Active Members: 59,307
  • 11. LinksSocial Media can produce both direct and indirect links:• Direct Links: – Some Social Media sites create link connectivity via profile links – Some Social Media sites create link connectivity via posted links• Indirect Links: – Many links are generated as a result of increased visibility through Social Media (Blogging, YouTube, Digg, etc) – Some links are generated by asking for them through Social Media channels (Twitter, Blogging, FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc)• Avoid registering for Social Media sites solely for SEO. Social Media sites that are used for their intended purpose typically produce the best SEO results
  • 12. Links – Evaluating Social Media SitesEach of these items has potential for SEO value.When implemented –and integrated –correctly,Social Media can maximize your exposure andenhance your Search Rankings.Things to Consider• Are outbound links rel=nofollow?• Do applications produce live links?• Can you import your blog RSS feed?• Do profile pages connect as a result of being friends?• What is indexed under public profiles?• Can you customize link text?• Can you customize page titles?• Do pages from that domain rank well?• How popular is the site?
  • 13. Finding the Sweet Spot Strong Social Value • High Traffic • Quality Audience • High Participation • High Authority • High Number of Inbound Links • Valuable ContentPoor SEO Strong SEO • Feature Rich Platform Value • Analytics tracking Value • Low Maintenance Poor Social Value
  • 14. Brand Related SearchChallenges:• The majority of corporate search traffic is brand specific• Brand search has the highest propensity to convert• No easy solution to understand which digital assets drive brand related traffic from search—until nowSolution:• Attribution Analytics can tie social media influence to brand related search generation• Social media ROI calculations should include brand related search activity
  • 15. Direct Influence• Algorithmic ranking factors for Google and Bing now include social media metrics – and are likely to be included in future algorithm updates.• YouTube rankings currently use social media metrics like number of comments, ratings, and video views.
  • 16. Social Search• YouTube search is the second largest search engine in the world.• Facebook and Twitter search are becoming increasing popular.• Google Labs recently launched its “Social Search” in Beta.• Wikipedia owns many top search result listings (in many languages).
  • 17. Reputation Management• Active Social Media sites that have link connectivity, tend to rank well for company name related searches.• By maintaining a collection of prominent Social Media sites, including; Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, brands can control a majority of the top 10 listings for their company name.• Some link development to company pages on these sites may be necessary.
  • 18. Social Media Tactics• Social Media Sites (General): – Interlink your social media profiles whenever possible to make it easy for your friends to find you on other networks. – Develop links to your social media sites. – Create your own social media broadcast system by participating in your community and learning where your community lives. – Have a consistent participation schedule of important social media sites that are part of your social media broadcast system. – Be active and participate in your own community daily.• Blog: – Start a blog (preferably self hosted using WordPress) – Update the blog consistently with thought leadership content that is keyword focused. – Embed social bookmarking buttons for Twitter, FaceBook, Digg and Mixx on your blog posts (the “Share This” button is also cool!). – Interlink blog post content to your main site content where it makes sense for users.
  • 19. Social Media Tactics (cont’d)• Facebook: – Start a Facebook page and add the RSS Reader, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube and Flickr applications to your page. – Keyword focus your About Box – Assign Meta Data to Digital Assets• Twitter: – Start a Twitter page and sync it with your Facebook status. – Include relevant keywords in your Tweets and FaceBook status updates. – Background design should incorporate the brand’s numerous social profiles. – In the bio, use keywords that will help your profile get found from directories.
  • 20. Social Media Tactics (cont’d)• Videos: – Upload Videos through TubeMogul to YouTube and other video distribution channels. – Upload your videos to MySpace and Facebook in order to gain maximum exposure for traffic and links. – Watermark all videos with URLs. – Include annotations for video series. This optimizes the user path.• Images: – Upload pictures to Flickr, MySpace and Facebook separately to maximize viral exposure. – Customize your Flickr link back to your homepage.
  • 21. Measuring Social Media’s Impacton SEO
  • 22. Goals of Measurement• Understanding SMO and Attributing to ROI – How Effective Social Media Optimization is at Acquiring Links – Generating Brand Related Search Activity
  • 23. Links - Reporting• Link Reporting Challenges – Yahoo Site Explorer limited to 1000 links – Google’s link command is broken – Webmaster Tools is not complete – Majestic SEO data is not complete – Monitor analytics data – Monitor Social Media with tools like Radian6• Link Benefits – Allows for Measuring Link Development Success – Helps to Diagnose Ranking Changes
  • 24. Attribution Analytics - Reporting• Not everything can be measured by clicks – Blogs, news sites or page with no links (i.e. YouTube) – The more reputable the news outlet, the less likely to provide a direct link• Interest generated is often not immediate• Sometimes requires multiple touch points for interest to develop• Complements traditional click-through reportsAttribution Analytics Webinar On-Demand:http://www.businessol.com/forms/view-through-gaining-insight-data
  • 25. Determine the User Path SEO Link to Teaser UI Land on Squidoo Whitepaper Search “HR User Link to Watch UI Register to View Interface” Demo on Scribd Full UI WhitepaperSocial Media Link to Payroll Link to Blog Demo Information See New Blog Post Watch Testimonial Register to view the on Facebook Feed on Blog Payroll Demo
  • 26. Real Life Story“pubcon.com” “treasure island” Direct navigation
  • 27. Attribution Analytics - Web AnalyticsIntegration
  • 28. Attribution Analytics - Applications• Search - Measure the impact of social media, PR and video on driving brand related search activity.• Social Media – Measure the impact of social conversations across all traffic channels.• Online PR – Measure the impact of online PR and news coverage across all traffic channels.• Bookmarks – Measure what portion of the bookmark traffic was affected by social media, PR and video.
  • 29. Conclusion• Social media has a number of implications for SEO: – Real Time Search – Content – Links – Brand Related Search – Directly (Tweets, Reviews, Etc) in Algo – Social Search (Google, FaceBook, Twitter) – Reputation Management• There are a number of specific tactics that should be employed (as discussed in this presentation) to maximize the SEO value of your social media campaign.• Social media is one of the most effective ways to acquire links and drive brand related search activity.• Attribution Analytics is a new technology that can help tie multi-click attribution to social media efforts.• Using the SEO results of your social media efforts can help marketers get additional budget (especially comparing link acquisition costs of social media to paid campaigns).
  • 30. Thank You!Any Questions?Contact: Ray “Catfish” Comstock: Ray.Comstock@BusinessOL.comAdditional BusinessOnLine Resources: Follow Us On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BusinessOL Follow Catfish On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BOLSearch Follow BusinessOnLine On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BOLOptimized