SOCIAL MEDIA SNAPSHOT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION Break Through the Clutter
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" (un-paid, “organic”) search results as opposed to paid methods. Generally, the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will visit that page. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for.
Why do I care what people are searching for? Search engines are the #1 way people find information online and are the #1 way people find your site(s) If someone is searching for information on a Navy topic, we want them to find that information on a Navy website (or official Navy social media site) first. Otherwise they may get their information from a less accurate source. Top Referring Sites to Navy.mil (June 11-17, 2010) Google.com: 117,233 Yahoo.com: 11,242 Bing.com: 11,222 Facebook.com: 5,536 Twitter.com: 574 Source: OmniStats
There are more than 200 variables in what Google considers for ranking in searches. Other popular search engines use similar methodologies to determine page rankings.
There are three main ways to optimize your website(s) for search engines Content- Relevant keywords in your content on your pages, and in your outbound and inbound links; updating a variety of content regularly; and writing in an literal manner can increase your search engine rankings Code- The more visible the text on your site the easier it is for your content to be found and there are several web coding items your web developer can do to help search engines know what information people can find on your site including HTML, Metadata, page titles, and ALT tags Advertisements- Paid search (e.g. AdWords) can place your web site on the first page of search results for your keyword(s) in the sponsored section and also helps search engines learn more about your website based on user activity of people who click on your advertisement
As Public Affairs Officers, we have the most control over content Better Content = Better SEO
ESSENTIAL RESEARCH: Identify your keywords Don’t assume you know your keywords and don’t get caught using obvious words such as “Navy” Brainstorm potential keywords and build a keyword glossary for your command Research your keywords to determine if people are searching for that term Narrow down your list (10-20 words is good target number) Optimization efforts are only effective if we are using keywords that people are searching for Tools to research keywords
Google Wonder Wheel – on the left of every Google search
5 steps to effective keyword research: http://www.bruceclay.com/newsletter/1006/keywordresearch.html Where to kick off your keyword search: http://outspokenmedia.com/seo/where-to-kickoff-your-keyword-research/ Keyword questions: http://labs.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions/
Tip 1: Use your keywords In titles In the body of the content and in your hyperlinks In photo/video descriptions In tags
Tip 2: Update Often New content is being created by others every day, so you must keep your content fresh to maintain or improve your search ranking Post new content at least once per week (blog post, news story on your Navy.mil web site, Facebook post, Twitter post, YouTube, Flickr, etc.) Post a variety of content. Videos and photos with good captions are great ways to improve SEO Promote your content across your web presences. The more people that click on your content the better it places in search.
Tip 3: Write clearly Search engines need literal information. Avoid clever or sarcastic headlines that obscure the meaning Use strong and descriptive headlines full of key words Include numerals (e.g. 5, 20) in headlines when possible Consider the lowest reading level of your target audience Use vocabulary appropriate for the subject When possible, use shorter sentences, break up paragraphs and use lists to improve readability HOW TO: Maximize Your Content’s Reach on the Social Web: http://mashable.com/2010/04/16/content-reach-social-web/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29 Be relevant! http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5974/SEO-Is-Evolving-But-Relevant-Content-Is-Still-King.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HubSpot+%28HubSpot%29 Copywriting for social media: http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/2010/06/09/copywriting-for-social-media/
Tip 4: Use social media Monitor trending topics and incorporate into updates as appropriate Remain relevant and offer value to your audienceon different platforms—make sure you are varying your message based on specific audiences (the same message may not be appropriate for your web site, Facebook and Twitter) Use social media right away when you have breaking news (ensure it’s accurate and publically releasable first!) Use Hashtags to categorize your posts Encourage and facilitate the sharing of your content How to use social media to rank on Google, http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5860/Social-Search-How-to-Use-Social-Media-to-Rank-on-Google.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HubSpot+%28HubSpot%29
Be proactive: work with your web team to implement code changes Provide them with your keywords (and research used to determine keywords) Run a report on http://websitegrader.com and provide to web team with suggested improvements Use a tool like http://www.seo-browser.com/ to see how search engines see your website
If your command advertises (e.g. Navy Recruiting), use keywords strategically
Be clear and avoid misleading language when creating ads
Use deep links so those who click on the ad land on the exact page expected
Test a variety of formats and phrases so you can optimize ads on the fly
Start with a small pilot campaign targeted towards a specific geographic region or other demographic
Additional SEO Resources Be sure to check your page ranking on Google and other search engines for your keywords regularly, and if you want additional tips for increasing your search engine page rank, see the links below: 21 Essential SEO Tips and Techniques: http://searchengineland.com/21-essential-seo-tips-techniques-11580 10 Basic SEO Tips to Get Started: http://www.businessinsider.com/10-basic-seo-tips-everyone-should-know-2010-1#monitor-where-you-stand-1 Top 52 SEO Tips: http://www.seo-writer.com/reprint/top-seo-tips.html 55 Quick SEO Tips: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/55-quick-seo-tips-even-your-mother-would-love/6760/ 24 SEO Terms Marketers Should Know: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6080/Glossary-24-SEO-Terms-Marketers-Should-Know.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HubSpot+%28HubSpot%29 9 SEO Mistakes Businesses Make with Content: http://outspokenmedia.com/seo/9-seo-mistakes-businesses-make-with-content/ SEO is evolving fast: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5869/SEO-is-Evolving-Fast-Basics-Are-No-Longer-Enough.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HubSpot+%28HubSpot%29
Additional SEO Resources SEO Blogs: Online Marketing Blog – www.toprankblog.com Matt Cutts – www.mattcutts.com/blog SEOmoz – www.seomoz.org/blog Search Engine Land – www.searchengineland.com Search Engine Watch – www.searchenginewatch.com Search Engine Roundtable – www.seroundtable.com Search Engine Guide – www.searchengineguide.com Marketing Pilgrim – www.marketingpilgrim.com HubSpot – blog.hubspot.com Yoast – www.yoast.com Small Business SEM – www.smallbusinessem.com