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Importance of Social Media Presence in SERPS
 

Importance of Social Media Presence in SERPS

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  • “Essentially, we've been doing the same kind of search now for over a decade, right? It's basically anchor text and PageRank and inbound links, and that's how we've kind of decided what page is best for a particular term… But there are signals beyond this.”
  • “One piece of advice I give to SEO masters is, don’t chase after Google’s algorithm, chase after your best interpretation of what users want, because that’s what Google’s chasing after,”
  • Every 3-4 years, there's a big shift or addition to the key metrics Google (and, to a lesser extent MSN/Bing and Yahoo!) uses to order competitive search results.1996-1999: On-page keyword usage + meta data1999 - 2002: PageRank + On-page2002 - 2005: Anchor text + Domain name + PageRank + On-Page2005 - 2009: Domain authority + Diversity of linking domains + Topic modeling + Anchor text + Domain name + PageRank + On-Page
  • If you think about it, the convergence of search and social media is a natural and logical process: not only can social data be used to personalize search results, but social activity (such as Facebook Likes and Twitter tweets) provide crowdsourced indicators of what content is popular with actual users. It's no wonder, then, that a lot has happened in the last year or so to "socialize" search engine result pages (SERPs).For starters, in addition to including social content from Twitter, Flickr, and other sites into its SERPs, Google recently launched Google +1, allowing users to vote for pages and search results. Also, earlier this year Bing expanded its deal with Facebook, allowing it to both personalize search results and use Facebook Likes to gauge the authority of pages.
  • With competitors putting pressure on margins while shrinking the gap between branddifferentiation and with customers taking more control of their shopping experience and their chanhging time spend on-line , it is essential to take steps towards channel integration in order to drive greater results and stay ahead of the pack. Achieving strong multi-channel integration reaps rewarding benefitsof loyalty, revenue and ROI.Businesses can't afford to ignore social, namely because this is where consumers are spending most of their time. Recent research from Nielsen shows that more online users are spending their time on social media networks and blogs than on any other online channel -- 25 percent of collective time spent online. The evolution of Internet technologies from websitesto email, search engines, blogs, Facebook and othersocial innovations has permanently transformedmarketing strategies. Media consumption patterns have changedconsiderably. Consumers can now choose to view media across a growing array of channelsor simply create their own experiences and interactions using YouTube, Twitter, blogs, etc.As such, marketers need every channel to work harder than ever to reach increasinglysegmented and dispersedaudiences.Since it’s not enough to simply reach your audience and broadcast a message, today’sconnected, social environment demands an entirely new level of engagement todifferentiate your brand, generate sales and create lasting loyalty. This means executinga strategy where all your initiatives are working in sync, communicating a consistentmessage and providing an integrated experience. To succeed, your organization must adaptnew skills, apply a new set of tools, and develop a new playbook that aligns with this shiftin customerfocus.
  • In this new environment, channels are aligning with marketing objectives: search forcustomer acquisition and rapid conversion and social as the brand and communicationchannel. By combining social with search (both paid and organic), marketers can find newways to expand the impact and reach of these channels to generate more customers.At its core, social is a brand influencer. Companies require a social strategy to engagetheir audience and provide influential consumers with information and service that show theircommitment to creating positive customer experiences.• A few well-placed consumer comments can have a powerful impact on major, globalbrands and, in many cases, a far greater impact than the most expansive and costlytraditional marketing campaigns.• According to Forrester Research, twenty-six percent of U.S. online adults areinfluencing their friends’ and families’ purchases.• In addition, ninety-one percent of this group are on social networks and are 49% morelikely to create content online than others. Where do they create this content? Writingratings and reviews on commerce sites and posting on forums and blogs (see ForresterResearch charts below).
  • + Businesses are quickly realizing that optimizing and leveraging these social channels are only going to grow as an integral part of their marketing efforts, in addition to their existing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. + Businesses can't afford to ignore social, namely because this is where consumers are spending most of their time. Recent research from Nielsen shows that more online users are spending their time on social media networks and blogs than on any other online channel -- 25 percent of collective time spent online. + Search engines are recognizing this shift in user behavior, too, and reacting accordingly. Over the past year, there has been an increasing shift in the development of social features from both Google and Bing. Recently, both Google and Bing confirmed they use social signals from Facebook and Twitter as relevancy indicators. We're seeing a connection between search and social in terms of marketing budget spend, as well. + Second only to website optimization, marketers in a recent MarketingSherpa survey listed search and social as the top marketing tactics they plan to increase their budget for in 2011.
  • So what does this mean for your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? Well, it means that you should be looking at new ways of Using Social Media to have Search Rankings BoomTraditional onsite SEO and backlinks are still fundamental. But if you really want to get competitive with your SEO strategy, you need to send search engines the right "social signals" that your site and pages deserve to rank well.Over the last few weeks, SEOMOZ has been collecting data and running calculations in an attempt to provide more insight into these answers. The data examines the top 30 ranking results for 10,217 searches performed on Google in late March (after the Panda/Farmer update, using top suggested keywords in each category from Google's AdWords data). It compares the features that higher ranking results have, which lower ranking results do not.
  • Takeaways from this DataWhile we can't say for certain whether these numbers mean that Facebook strongly influences Google rankings, I personally have some big learnings and opinions to share:Social Metrics are Well Correlated with Higher RankingsTo me, correlation alone is interesting because I want my sites/pages to be similar to the pages that rank higher in Google, irrespective of whether those traits are directly measured in the algorithm. Pages that earn tweets + Facebook shares also correlate well with earning links, and send direct traffic on their own - ignoring these services at this point seems foolish.Testing the Direct Impact of Facebook Shares on Google is ImperativeWe've already observed severalremarkable results from testing Twitter's impact. Facebook should be next on the list for many search marketers.I Need to Learn More About How to Earn Facebook SharesGiven the potential importance and the obvious direct impact (traffic from and visibility on Facebook itself), I, and probably many web marketers, need to examine successful strategies and brainstorm new ways to earn sharing activity from Facebook's massive user base.Shares Might Be More Valuable than LikesIn Facebook's own environment, a "like" of content will show up on your own "Wall" and in "Most Recent" (a new feature as of last week), but it rarely shows in "Top News" where most users scan and click. If that alone isn't reason to encourage sharing v. liking, the data above certainly is (at least to me).Twitter May Be Less Powerful than I ThoughtThe correlation data and the presence of tweets in SERPs was less, in comparison to Facebook, than I would have expected. It could be that in cases like those of our experiments, where many influential Twitter users shared a URL in close temporal proximity, Google takes it as a signal, yet for standard search rankings, it's not as powerful. We'll definitely keep testing and watching, but my expectations for tweets correlating with rankings, after controlling for links, were higher, and thus the results, somewhat surprising.
  • 1. Getting Tweeted to RankOne aspect of your backlink profile that search engines monitor is age. While old backlinks carried tenure, new backlinks demonstrate that your site/page continues to be popular.Well, tweets serve a similar function by sending "social signals" that a site/page is currently popular. Both Google and Bing have confirmed that social signals impact rankings.So part of a social SEO strategy should be a Twitter-outreach campaign to get your content tweeted and retweeted. And, ideally, those Tweets should contain the keywords that you're trying to rank for.
  • Google's Evolution: Twitter IntegrationGoogle's SERPs have progressed from showing organic results as a website link, to a specific tweet from a user within your social circle who mentions a link, and now to a combination of the two: the website result, a link to the friend's social network profile (e.g. Twitter account) who did the sharing, and a link to the original recommendation are now combined into one result. Classic result: Google's organic result for a keyword search pointing to a website.
  • 2. Socializing Your Content StrategyGranted, it can be challenging (or impossible) to get your product pages tweeted at a significant volume (unless they end up the butt of a trending meme). So you will need to modify your content strategy by producing content:That has the potential to go viral, at least within niche communities relevant to you industry. Go beyond the run-of-the-mill press release or "look at us" blog post and produce content that your target market will find helpful or entertaining -- the kind of stuff that users will be likely to share via Twitter (and other channels).Around or related to the keyword themes you're trying to rank on. The reason you want to do this is because you want Tweets and Retweets to include those keywords.For example, it's great to have a blog post about the 10 fastest cars in the world go viral on Twitter. But the tweets that result from it would be more valuable if you sell auto parts/accessories than if you sell evening wear.3. Influence Through InfluencersHaving your content tweetable content is just the first step. You will also want to get tweeted by "influencers" because these are the users who are most likely to get retweeted.When both Google and Bing confirmed that tweets count toward rankings, they both also indicated that they look at the social authority of the user's Twitter account. Getting tweeted by a user with a lot of followers (and many more than people they follow back) carries considerably more weight than being Tweeted by a handful or slew of "Joe Blows."Furthermore, influencers are more likely to get retweeted, which means they can offer you more tweets for your buck. So you should look at ways to reach influencers and build relationships with them.This way, when you do produce (keyword sensitive) "social content," you'll be that much more likely to have that content picked up by an influencer and (potentially) widely Retweeted.As one example, a few months ago, when Smashing Magazine tweeted about SEOmoz's "Beginner's Guide to SEO" (resulting in countless retweets), SEOmoz began to rank on the first page for just "Beginner's Guide." This is because they had a page optimized for "Beginner's Guide" that got tweeted by an influencer whose Tweet contained the keywords "Beginner's Guide" and got widely retweeted.4. Be LikeableThrough Bing's exclusive deal with Facebook, Bing can factor Likes into its ranking algorithm, and personalize search results according to whether a user's Facebook friends have Liked something.This gives Bing a bit of a social edge over Google because Google doesn't have direct access to Facebook data. But Google does factor Facebook Likes and shares into its SERPs, and SEOmoz speculates that shares carry more weight than Likes.Google is also working to catch up to Bing with the Google +1 button. Through Google's +1 feature, users are able to "vote up" content or search results in a fashion that's similar to Facebook's Like button.These +1s, moreover, will soon be used to personalize search results based on whether any of your Google contacts have "recommended" a page or site via +1. Granted, it's too early to be sure how heavily +1 will factor into rankings, but Google's intention to crowd-source relevance and personalization is clear and present.So a big part of socializing your rankings is by being "likeable." This should start with your social content strategy, but it will also involve having awesome products. After all, it's those products that you want to show up in the SERPs.
  • . Be LikeableThrough Bing's exclusive deal with Facebook, Bing can factor Likes into its ranking algorithm, and personalize search results according to whether a user's Facebook friends have Liked something.This gives Bing a bit of a social edge over Google because Google doesn't have direct access to Facebook data. But Google does factor Facebook Likes and shares into its SERPs, and SEOmoz speculates that shares carry more weight than Likes.Google is also working to catch up to Bing with the Google +1 button. Through Google's +1 feature, users are able to "vote up" content or search results in a fashion that's similar to Facebook's Like button.These +1s, moreover, will soon be used to personalize search results based on whether any of your Google contacts have "recommended" a page or site via +1. Granted, it's too early to be sure how heavily +1 will factor into rankings, but Google's intention to crowd-source relevance and personalization is clear and present.So a big part of socializing your rankings is by being "likeable." This should start with your social content strategy, but it will also involve having awesome products. After all, it's those products that you want to show up in the SERPs.
  • Chapter 3. Optimizing the Facebook Page for SearchAnn SmartySocial media and search marketing are becoming increasinglyintertwined. The number of Tweets and Likes pointing to a site canboost its rankings in search engines. Meanwhile, Facebook itself hasbecome complex and Pages have become competitive in gainingattention. Facebook’s internal search has also become an essential toolforattracting new eyeballs.There are two very different methodologies involved. Major search enginessuch as Google and Bing use a web link structure to analyze web authority whileFacebook is a social network that uses people, connections and theirpreferences to analyze the community.Users have become well accustomed to the Google search interface: just typequery terms and click through the results (ranked by relevancy and authority).Facebook search is a bit more complicated. First of all, it has two levels.The first level is Facebook Autosuggest (also referred to as “Auto-Complete”results): just start typing your search term to get instant results right below thesearch box:If the user doesn’t see what they are looking for in Autosuggest results they canclick to “See more results for…” to get to “Advanced Facebook” search resultsthat include Pages, Friends, Applications and even web results (The latter arepoweredbyBing).They can also filter results by type, for example they can see only pages. Lookingat search results returned for a query, they will be able to instantly see: Each page name; The number of people who “liked” each page; The category of the page.Two important points to remember about Facebook Search: It is impossible to predict: you never know what your friends or justrandom users will see for any given search query. Facebook search islikely to heavily rely on connections: how “close” the user is to eachpage - how many of their friends Like it or even how many Friends ofFriendsLikeit. It relies on exact match: Change your search term just a bit to seecompletely different search results: for example, [blogging] versus[bloggers]:
  • Optimizing a Facebook Page for BOTH Facebook and Google/BingPage name: Page creators may feel tempted to stuff it with keywords hoping toget it ranked at least for a couple of them in the major search engines. InFacebook, however, people and connections will define page popularity, so it isbest to keep it simple, targeted and brand-specific.Key points to remember about Page name are: The name of a Facebook Page is also its actual page title tag (this is thelinked part that shows up in both Google and Facebook search). The name is crucial because Facebook search is biased to “exact match”:your page will only have a chance to show up if it has the exact word theuser types in the search box. Rule of thumb: It is best to name your page after your brand withouttrying to make it too descriptive. BUT make sure to use your full nameand break into the separate words, for example:“Search Engine Journal” is better than “SearchEngineJournal” (becauseit has a good chance to get ranked for “search” and “search engine”)The Facebook Page URL: Creating a short readable URL for a page makes itmore appealing to both people and search engines. Pages can set a custom pageURL (also referred to as “Vanity URLs”) at www.facebook.com/username/ - aslong as the page has at least 25 Likes.The custom URL can only be set once and cannot be edited. Facebook maintainsa blacklist of restricted usernames and advises:“The selected username should clearly identify the artist or businessrepresented by your Page. Create a username that is as close as possible toyour public figure or business name”
  • Page Category: Page owners can specify its Category and Subcategory. It willhelp the listing to be more easily identified in Facebook search results.Page Info: Complete information about the page should be entered onto the“About us” box and “Info” tab to describe the business. These fields offer more“indexable” content for search engines.Facebook Page notes can be yet another good place for content relevant to yourbrand. One of the most effective ways to take advantage of page notes is to usethem to collect and publish Twitter testimonials aggregated from your TwitterFavorites.The Page Wall: A vibrant Wall is a powerful way to enrich any Facebook Pagewith fresh and relevant content. Be sure to update your regularly (at least acouple of times a week) with content about your business. It keeps the page“alive” and keeps both the search engines and the people coming back. Thesepage updates show up in both the Autosuggest and Advanced Facebook searchresults which makes the Page easier to find.Page (In-)Links: SEOs like to talk about ‘on page’ and ‘off page’ strategies. InFacebook search ‘off page’ focuses on having users Like and otherwise link toyour Page: Facebook Like works like a “vote” for a Page. Facebook seems to useLikes to measure both page popularity and relevancy to each separateuser. The more people Like your Page, the more links there are pointing frompublic profiles to it (and thus the more ways search engines have tocrawl it):Here’s how the external search engine “sees” the list of pages a user likes (asyou can see from the screenshot, these are direct links to the page):
  • 5. Diversify the Communities You TargetWhile going after the major "social signals" (Facebook, Twitter and possibly +1) is a no-brainer, you should also take your social SEO strategy beyond the fishbowl. Specifically, there are a number of social content communities that also offer a significant opportunity to get valuable backlinks and drive traffic (that may also result in additional tweets/Likes/+1s).Diversifying your traffic sources is important in SEO. Your SEO strategy should aim to get links and traffic from as many sources as possible. Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Digg all represent significant opportunities for to get both.These are the sites where customer go to check opinions and recommendations91% say consumer reviews are the #1 aid to buying decisions- JC Williams Group87% trust a friend’s recommendation over critic’s review - Marketing Sherpa3 times more likely to trust peer opinions over advertising for purchasing decisions- Jupiter Research 1 word-of-mouth conversation has impact of 200 TV ads- BuzzAgentThis is where your social content strategy becomes even more important. Specifically, when targeting these communities, you'll have to reconcile your brand's messaging with the culture of these communities.This means producing branded content that:Is interesting, engaging, and entertaining -- or any two out of these three.Has nothing to do with the products/services you sell.Is still somehow on topic in terms of the keywords you're trying to rank for.One company that does this well is Rackspace with the infographics they produce. But you can also achieve this with Top 5/10 lists.Once you produce content that reconciles your brand with what these communities like, you'll have to actually seed you content across these content sharing sites.Again, you'll need to access "influencers" within communities. That means investing in building and maintaining relationships beyond Twitter -- or partnering with someone who already has.
  • The Low Down on Social Media Links You probably know that you need to build links to your site and product pages if you want them to rank well. And the more links you get from authoritative domains, the better. Well, social media offers an opportunity to get links from authoritative domains. The catch is that social media links have their drawbacks. First, you can't control the anchor text. Second, because they are often nofollow links or redirects, they don't always pass link juice.This might make social media links sound pretty useless for search engine optimization (SEO), but they aren't. The right kind of social strategy can still pass a lot of link juice your way. Trust vs Juice Google wants to show their users the most relevant search results possible. And Google understands that social media users are real people. So when these real humans share links through their social media profiles, Google uses this to gauge the relevancy of a page. In other words, while these links might not pass much juice, they do pass trust.Basically, these links: Will come from individual profiles that don't have a lot of authority of their own.Won't have targeted anchor text.Might be nofollowed and/or redirected. So each one on its own isn't worth much.But if you get hundreds of them at a time, Google is going to conclude that your site is, indeed, relevant to actual human beings. Which begs the question: how do you go about getting hundreds of social media backlinks?
  • How Significant is This Change for Marketers? This is yet again confirmation that social media optimization should be an integral part of any company's search strategy. Actions like getting retweets and mentions on Twitter, Likes on Facebook, and mentions on Quora are crucial for today's online businesses to gain visibility through search engines and social networks. As search gets more social, the idea of the social footprint which gives you exponential reach into a follower or fan's social network just from a simple @mention, retweet, Like, or follow will have a whole new large-scale network effect.
  • How Significant is This Change for Marketers? This is yet again confirmation that social media optimization should be an integral part of any company's search strategy. Actions like getting retweets and mentions on Twitter, Likes on Facebook, and mentions on Quora are crucial for today's online businesses to gain visibility through search engines and social networks. As search gets more social, the idea of the social footprint which gives you exponential reach into a follower or fan's social network just from a simple @mention, retweet, Like, or follow will have a whole new large-scale network effect.
  • Case Study: Real Time Search and Social MediaAs social media continues to influence search engine page rankings, it is important to monitor popular trends in real time to increase the reach of social media campaigns. This past October presented an opportunity to show how a combination of real time keyword research with targeted updates to blogs, Facebook, and Twitter can have both an immediate and lasting effect on organic traffic.The following case study details the impact of leveraging real time social trends had on multiple social media channels for WorldQuest Orlando Resort in Orlando, FL.Before beginning the campaign, we set the following simple goals:Increase number of Twitter FollowersIncrease Facebook Fan countIncrease traffic to the Events BlogTo achieve these goals, the following strategy was devised:Determine topic and keyword research – “Halloween in Orlando” is one of the largest event buzz words in OctoberCreate topical content on the hotel’s blog site – Added three blog posts relevant to Halloween events in OrlandoSocial media integration – Use the blog posts as a talking point for all social interactionsBlog integration and marketing – Interact with other relevant blogsThe process began with well-structured blog posts, giving details to popular Halloween events across Orlando. The events were chosen based on popularity, demographic, location, and networking ability (i.e. Do they have Facebook/Twitter presence with which to interact).
  • Case Study: Real Time Search and Social MediaAs social media continues to influence search engine page rankings, it is important to monitor popular trends in real time to increase the reach of social media campaigns. This past October presented an opportunity to show how a combination of real time keyword research with targeted updates to blogs, Facebook, and Twitter can have both an immediate and lasting effect on organic traffic.The following case study details the impact of leveraging real time social trends had on multiple social media channels for WorldQuest Orlando Resort in Orlando, FL.Before beginning the campaign, we set the following simple goals:Increase number of Twitter FollowersIncrease Facebook Fan countIncrease traffic to the Events BlogTo achieve these goals, the following strategy was devised:Determine topic and keyword research – “Halloween in Orlando” is one of the largest event buzz words in OctoberCreate topical content on the hotel’s blog site – Added three blog posts relevant to Halloween events in OrlandoSocial media integration – Use the blog posts as a talking point for all social interactionsBlog integration and marketing – Interact with other relevant blogsThe process began with well-structured blog posts, giving details to popular Halloween events across Orlando. The events were chosen based on popularity, demographic, location, and networking ability (i.e. Do they have Facebook/Twitter presence with which to interact).Specific posts were then created several times a week for both Facebook and Twitter. All posts included tags and references to specific events, and included shortened links pointing back to the full blog posts. Using Google’s link shortening service http://goo.gl, the links were optimized so that the full title was referenced and index in the real time search.By posting to various channels during high traffic times of the day, the number of post impressions increased and lead to higher level of interactions among fans and followers.In addition, reaching out directly to other bloggers, including interactions on Twitter, Facebook, and through the comment systems of other Orlando bloggers.Results:higher level of interactions among fans and followers.increased interest in the events posted on the WorldQuest siteWorldQuest’s blog appearing on Page 1 of Google’s results for the high volume term “Orlando Halloween kids” (over 3,880,000 results).More fan activity on WorldQuest Facebook page during the first week than the prior two months combined15% increase in Facebook fans over the month87% increase in Twitter followers over the month25 new backlinks to the three blog postsOver 300% increase in blog traffic month over month
  • As early as 2008, networking giant Cisco was well along in its social media evolution.  Back then you could find the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.Yet something was missing – the hard business case for social media.  Like most companies, Cisco knew it was benefiting from social media, but it couldn’t prove it.The launch of a new router using only social media would provide the proof Cisco’s marketers were seeking.The results surprised even the social media enthusiasts. With this single project, the company shaved six figuresoff its launch expenses and set a new precedent for future product launches.“It was classified as one of the top five launches in company history,” said LaSandra Brill, senior manager, global social media. “It was the crossing the chasm point for us in the adoption phase of social media and helped us get over the hump of internal acceptance.”
  • As early as 2008, networking giant Cisco was well along in its social media evolution.  Back then you could find the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.Yet something was missing – the hard business case for social media.  Like most companies, Cisco knew it was benefiting from social media, but it couldn’t prove it.The launch of a new router using only social media would provide the proof Cisco’s marketers were seeking.The results surprised even the social media enthusiasts. With this single project, the company shaved six figuresoff its launch expenses and set a new precedent for future product launches.“It was classified as one of the top five launches in company history,” said LaSandra Brill, senior manager, global social media. “It was the crossing the chasm point for us in the adoption phase of social media and helped us get over the hump of internal acceptance.”
  • Monetize Facebook – Cold Stone generates income through its eGift Social feature while not being overly salesy; the gift aspect changes the online sales dynamic.Tie in with franchisees – The corporate Cold Stone site includes a local tab that allows fans to enter their zip codes to find local franchise Facebook pages.Maintain brand consistency – If partners or franchisees have their own pages, provide suggested posts and content to help maintain the brand image.Innovate with apps – Add-on apps for Facebook help run the eGift feature and contest voting.
  • If you’re on Facebook, you’ve likely either given or received a virtual “gift” or widget from a friend, an icon such as a birthday cake or heart. These virtual tokens of affection allow friends to express their care.This July, Cold Stone made eGifting more tangible. Now you can send Facebook friends a code for an actual ice cream creation eGift, ranging from $5 to $7, right from the Cold Stone Facebook fan page for delivery via Facebook or email. Like a gift certificate, recipients can instantly redeem the gift at any of the retailer’s American locations by showing a printout or the code on their mobile phones.For a viral effect, the eGiftshows up in the recipient’s News Feed on Facebook, so all friends can see it.One of the first brands to enable eGift Social, created by First Data Corporation, Cold Stone links its social media presence directly with sales.Coupon Boosts Sales More Than 1%In direct response to Facebook fans’ requests, Cold Stone decided to run a 2-for-$5 coupon campaign. The retailer posted the offer on its Facebook page and notified contacts by email.Just 3 weeks in, fans had printed more than 500,000 coupons, with more than 20,000 of those from Facebook. Clearly, the campaign went well beyond just pleasing customers.“Since we launched the campaign, we’ve seen sales increase just about 1 to 1.2%,” Schutz said. “We’ve seen a redemption rate of over 14%. For me as an advertiser, that’s a great ROI. For traditional advertising we would have spent upwards of $500,000 and we would have seen less redemption. I think our average redemption was .02%. So far, it exceeds what traditional advertising and print do.”Fans ‘Eat Up’ New Flavors ContestA summer flavors contest additionally drove fans to the company’s Facebook page and stores. Nearly 4,000 people entered the contest requiring them to post creative comments of 50 words or fewer about one of three featured summer flavors available in stores.While official judges chose the winners based on originality, all entrants could share their entries and encourage their friends to vote for theirs. Entrants shared the news more than 3,000 times and more than 1,800 people voted through the application created by Wildfire Interactive.“We saw 66,000 new fans over about an 8-week period,” said Anne Christenson, director of social marketing. “Obviously, it helps us gain some fans.”The winners earned a trip to the Scottsdale, Arizona headquarters to work with the Cold Stone taste master on creating their own flavors. From there, Cold Stone will pick its favorite flavor to roll out at stores across the country in 2011.
  • A new eGift Facebook feature added $10,000 in incremental sales to franchisees in just a month and a half.With social media, Cold Stone averages a cost of about 39 cents per coupon redeemed compared to $3.60 per redemption with print advertising.The company added 66,000 new fans over about an 8-week period with a flavors contest.A Facebook coupon increased sales 1 to 1.2%.14% redeemed the coupon compared to .02% in the past.

Importance of Social Media Presence in SERPS Importance of Social Media Presence in SERPS Presentation Transcript

  • Social Media for More Traffic & Better SEOHow to leverage the channels of social media marketing to earn direct traffic and higher search engine rankingsSocial Media Strategy SummitAmsterdam 19-21 May
    Herwin Wevers
    Director
    Posicionarpaginaweb.org
    Webboomm.com
    May 2011
  • Agenda
    Convergence of Search and Social Media
    Using Social Media to Boom Rankings
    Case Studies Social Marketing
  • “Essentially, we've been doing the same kind of search now for over a decade, right?
    It's basically anchor text and PageRank and inbound links, and that's how we've kind of decided what page is best for a particular term…
    But there are signals beyond this.”
    Stefan Weitz, Director for Bing Search
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/director-of-bing-discusses-holistic-search-and-clickstream-data-whiteboard-friday
  • Yes, we do use Twitter as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance searches by marking how many people shared an article 
    “One piece of advice I give to SEO masters is, don’t chase after Google’s algorithm, chase after your best interpretation of what users want, because that’s what Google’s chasing after,”
    Matt Cutts, Head of search, Google
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/business/media/11search.html
  • Every 3-4 years, there's a big shift or addition to the key metrics Google uses to order competitive search results.
    1996-1999: On-page keyword usage + meta data
    1999 - 2002: PageRank + On-page
    2002 - 2005: Anchor text + Domain name + PageRank + On-Page
    2005 - 2010: Domain authority + Diversity of linking domains + Topic modeling + Anchor text + Domain name + PageRank + On-Page
    2010 - ….: Inclusion of Social Media signals
     
    Rand Fishkin, the Cofounder SEOMoz
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/business/media/11search.html
  • Convergence of Search and SM….search engines point of view
    natural and logical process
    social data to be used to personalize search results
    social activity provide indicators what content is popular
    So a lot has happened in 2010-2011 to "socialize" search engine result pages
    Google
    included social content from Twitter, Flickr, FB in SERPS
    launched Google +1, allowing votes on pages
    Bing: expanded its deal with Facebook,
    personalize search results
    use Facebook Likes to gauge the authority of pages.
  • Convergence of Search and SM…users point of view
    Customers´ time spent on SM and them taking more control of the brand experience, requires integration of SEO and Social Media in overall Marketing Strategy
    • Internet technologies and social innovations transformed media consumption patterns
    • Requires a synced execution of marketing strategies for a consistent message and integrated experience
    Source: Getting Engaged With Your Customers: Optimizing Search and Social to Increase Brand Exposure and Sales. Zeta Interactive 2010 pdf
  • Convergence of Search and SM…businesses point of view
    Channels are aligning with marketing objectives:
    Source: Getting Engaged With Your Customers: Optimizing Search and Social to Increase Brand Exposure and Sales. Zeta Interactive 2010 pdf
  • Convergence of Search and SM…businesses point of view
    And there´s a connection between search and social in terms of marketing budget spend
    search and social the top marketing tactics they plan to increase their budget for in 2011.
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings
    What does this mean for your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy?
    Exploring new ways of using social media to boost your rankings.
    Traditional onsite SEO and backlinks are still fundamental.
    But send search engines the right "social signals" that your site and pages deserve to rank well.
    What signals do Google + Bing take into account?
    And do they really have a large impact?
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings
    How SM metrics correlate with higher rankings in Google´s SERPS
    LOWER CORRECATION
    HIGHER CORRECATION
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-twitters-influence-google-search-rankings
  • How SM metrics correlate with higher rankings in Google´s SERPS
    Using Social Media to Boom Rankings
    Social Metrics are Well Correlated with Higher Rankings
    Shares Might Be More Valuable than Likes
    How to Earn Facebook Shares?
    Twitter May Be Less Powerful
    LOWER CORRECATION
    HIGHER CORRECATION
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/facebook-twitters-influence-google-search-rankings
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with Twitter
    Tweets: Authority, KW rich, retweets and regularity
    search engines monitor age of content. Tweets (keyword rich tweets & retweets) are sending "social signals" that a site/page is currently popular
    Google and Bing have confirmed that social signals impact rankings.
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with Twitter
    UK
    NL
    SP
    http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
    http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/twitter-used-by-16-4m-us-internet-users-will-growth-to-27-7m-by-2013-stats_b3682
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with Twitter
    Google and Twitter Integration
    Classic result: Google's organic result for a keyword search pointing to a website.
    Tweet result: An link to the actual tweet from friends within your social network,
    Combined result: The website result, links linking to your friend's profile and a time stamp that redirects to the original recommendation
    Source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2064902/The-Social-Evolution-of-Search-Engine-Result-Pages
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with Twitter
    Getting Tweeted to Rank
    Page A
    646 links from 36 root domains
    2 tweets
    Page B
    1 link from 1 root domain
    522 tweets
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-do-tweets-influence-search-rankings-an-experiment-for-a-cause
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with Twitter
    Getting Tweeted to Rank
    Page B – the tweeted version – ranks #1!
    Page A
    646 links from 36 root domains
    2 tweets
    Page B
    1 link from 1 root domain
    522 tweets
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-do-tweets-influence-search-rankings-an-experiment-for-a-cause
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with content and authority
    2. Socializing Your Content - producing branded content that:
    Is interesting, engaging, and entertaining
    Has nothing to do with the products/services you sell.
    Is still on topic/keywords to get them in Tweets/Retweets
    Top 5/10 lists.
    Appeals to the "influencers”
    That has the potential to go viral
    3. Influence Through Influencers
    Google confirmed importance of tweets AND authority
    Also, influencers are more likely to get retweeted
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    4. Be Likeable And have a social content strategy,
    Bing factors in Likes and personalize search results
    Google does factor Facebook Likes and shares into its SERPs, and shares carry more weight than Likes.
    Google +1 button lets users "vote up" and personalize search results based on whether any of your Google contacts have "recommended" a page or site via +1.
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
    http://www.benphoster.com/facebook-user-growth-chart-2004-2010/
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    Bingsintegrationwith Facebook
    Classic result:Bing´s organic result for a keyword search pointing to a website.
    "Liked Results": A separate module included alongside organic results
    Combined result: The website result with social context (friend's names and profile pictures who have liked the link).
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    There are two very different methodologies involved.
    Google uses inbound links link to analyze web authority
    FB as a social network uses people, connections and their preferences
    Facebook’s internal search: two methodologies
    Facebook Autosuggest
    It is impossible to predict: relies on how “close” the user is to each page
    Source: Hubspot´s Facebook marketing update – Howto use The Open Graph - Spring 2011
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    Optimizing a Facebook Page for BOTH Facebook and Google
    Page name:
    Don´t keyword stuff it. Keep it simple, targeted and brand-specific.
    Is its actual page title tag (linked part that shows up in Google and Facebook search).
    Facebook Page URL
    “Vanity URLs”
    can only be set once and cannot be edited
    Source: Hubspot´s Facebook marketing update – Howto use The Open Graph - Spring 2011
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    Page Category
    Page Info
    “About us” box and “Info” even more “indexable” content for search engines.
    Facebook Page notes for displaying more relevant brand related content. Eg collect and publish Twitter testimonials aggregated from your Twitter Favorites.
    Page Wall
    Your posts show up in both the Autosuggest and Advanced Facebook search
    Source: Hubspot´s Facebook marketing update – Howto use The Open Graph - Spring 2011
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….with FACEBOOK
    Link juicefrom FB Page Wall:
    “Likes” are do-follow
    Page nameshouldcontainyourmainkeyword
    FB Page has a Google Page rank.
    EgStarbuck page has PR8 and their page “Likes” are PR8 links
    One PR-1 “Like” = 10 PR-0 “Likes”
    No-follow links
    3.
    PR 8
    2.
    3.
    1.
    Page name
    PR 0
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….syndicate to content sharing´s sites
    5. Content sharing sites. The new “decision making engine” for 2012?
    Sharing content vs Social interacting -- Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Reddit
    Importance of references for purchase decisions
    When a user votes it up, it gets a link on that user's profile page. Score!!.
    With enough votes, it appears on the home page.
    Traffic gets pushed to your website.
    Publish in other social content communities to get valuable backlinks and get traffic
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….syndicate to content sharing´s sites
    http:/googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-new-search-index-caffeine.html
    http://www.reddit.com/r/blog/comments/evmek/2010_we_hardly_knew_ye/
  • Using Social Media to Boom Rankings….drawbacks
    social media offers an opportunity to get links from authoritative domains.
    drawbacks
    Can't control the anchor text.
    Often nofollow links or redirects, they don't always pass link juice.
    So useless? NO. The right kind of social strategy can still pass a lot of link juice your way.
    Links might not pass much juice, they do pass trust and relevancy.
  • Conclusions
    How Significant is This Change for Marketers?
    Retweets and mentions on Twitter, Likes on Facebook, Vote-ups are crucial for gaining visibility in Search & SM
    When people share your content, it will show up across their social networks and in their friends' SERPs.
    Social media should be an integral part of any company's search strategy and visa versa.
  • Questionsorwanttoknow more?
    Herwin Wevers
    herwin@posicionarpaginaweb.org
    Seo_barcelona
    /in/webboomm
    /webboomm
  • Case Studies Social Marketing
  • Case Study Hotel
    Objective:
    Leveraging effect of real time social trends on multiple social media channels for WorldQuest Orlando Resort in Orlando, FL.
    Goals:
    Increase number of Twitter Followers
    Increase Facebook Fans
    Increase traffic to the Events Blog
    Strategy:
    Determine topic and keyword research – “Halloween in Orlando”
    Create topical content on the hotel’s blog site
    Social media integration –blog posts as a talking point for all social interactions
    Blog integration and marketing – Interact with other relevant blogs
    http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/case-study-real-time-search-and-social-media/
  • Case Study Hotel
    Actions
    posting to various channels (Twitter, FB, Micro blogs, other blogs) several times a week including tags and references to specific events,
    Posting on other blogs (Google alerts of KW)
    Interactions on Twitter, Facebook
    http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/case-study-real-time-search-and-social-media/
  • Case Study Hotel
    Results
    higher level of interactions among fans and followers.
    increased interest in the events posted on Hotel site
    Hotel´s blog appearing on Page 1 of Google’s results for the high volume term “Orlando Halloween kids” (over 3,880,000 results).
    More fan activity on FB page during the first week than the prior two months combined
    15% increase in Facebook fans over the month
    87% increase in Twitter followers over the month
    25 new backlinks to the three blog posts
    Over 300% increase in blog traffic month over month
    http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/case-study-real-time-search-and-social-media/
  • Cisco Online Server Intro
    Objective:
    Returning question: What´s the hard business case for social media? Proof it is cheaper and more effective than offline
    launch of a new router using social media only
    Strategy:
    entirely online leveraging social media, to engage network engineers in a interactive, fun way.
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cisco-social-media-product-launch/#more-5093
  • Cisco Online Server Intro
    Actions
    3D Game –network engineers learned the product as they played a 3D game. Top scorers went on to a championship round with the winner bagging $10,000.
    YouTube – Video gets eyeballs. Cisco’s “Future of Shopping” is up to 3.3 million views and encouraging them to pass along links via social sharing.
    Social Media Widget – Cisco assembled videos, collateral and images in a widget format and embedded it into “social media” news releases and launch pages. Bloggers and others could spread the information easily with the embedded code.
    Cisco blogs – Videos and other content engaged bloggers and customers, encouraging viral pickups.
    Online forum – Cisco seeded its Networking Professionals Technology Community Forum with launch-related discussion topics and gave customers an “Ask the Expert” function.
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cisco-social-media-product-launch/#more-5093
  • Cisco Online Server Intro
    Results
    9,000 people attended the social media product launch event – 90 times more attendees than in the past
    Saved 42,000 gallons of gas
    Nearly three times as many press articles as with traditional outreach methods
    More than 1,000 blog posts and 40 million online impressions
    A Leading Lights award for Best Marketing
    One-sixth the cost of a traditional launch
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cisco-social-media-product-launch/#more-5093
  • IcecreamRetailer
    Objective:
    increasing traffic to stores by 3% through social media while reducing advertising spend.
    Strategy:
    Monetize Facebook
    Tie in with franchisees
    Maintain brand consistency
    Innovate with apps – Add-on apps for Facebook for eGifts and contest voting.
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cold-stone-transforms-the-ice-cream-social-with-facebook/#more-6389
  • IcecreamRetailer
    Actions
    send FB friends a code for an actual ice cream creation eGift
    eGift shows up in the recipient’s News Feed on Facebook, so all friends can see it.
    showing a printout or the code on their mobile phones.
    2-for-$5 coupon campaign
    Instantly redeem the gift at any of the retailer’s showing a printout or the code on their mobile phones.
    Fans ‘Eat Up’ New Flavors Contest
    “post creative comments of 50 words or fewer about one of three featured flavors”
    all entrants could share their entries and encourage friends to vote for theirs.
    4 - 5 key promotions throughout the year
    YouTube footage from events like its annual “World’s Largest Ice Cream Social,” which benefits social causes
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cold-stone-transforms-the-ice-cream-social-with-facebook/#more-6389
  • IcecreamRetailer
    Results
    eGift Facebook feature added $10,000 in incremental sales.
    With social media, cost of about 39 cents per coupon redeemed compared to $3.60 per redemption with print advertising.
    66,000 new fans over an 8-week period with a flavors contest.
    Facebook coupon increased sales 1 to 1.2%.
    14% redeemed the coupon compared to .02% in the past.
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cold-stone-transforms-the-ice-cream-social-with-facebook/#more-6389