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The SEO Value of Social Media - Catfish Comstock


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The SEO Value of Social Media

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.

* Ray "Catfish" Comstock, Director of SEO, BusinessOnline

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The SEO Value of Social Media - Catfish Comstock

  1. 1. The SEO Value of Social Media Ray “Catfish” Comstock August 26, 2010
  2. 2. Housekeeping… <ul><li>If you’d like a copy of the preso, give me your business card after the session and I’ll be sure to send you a copy </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the BusinessOnLine SEO team on Twitter at: @BOLSearch </li></ul><ul><li>If tweeting about this session, please use this hashtag: #seo </li></ul>1 2 3
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Intro </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is This Presentation For? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>History of Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Convergence of Social Media and Search </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How Social Media Affects SEO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real Time Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand Related Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directly (Tweets, Reviews, Etc) in Algo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Search (Google, Facebook, Twitter) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reputation Management </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Who is This For? <ul><li>Search marketers who want to understand how Social Media affects SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media marketers that want to understand how their efforts impact SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Marketers who want to justify social media spend based on SEO ROI </li></ul>
  5. 5. History of Search <ul><li>First Generation - On Page (Meta and Title Data) </li></ul><ul><li>Second Generation - Off Page (Linking = Google) </li></ul><ul><li>Third Generation - Web 2.0 & User Driven Search </li></ul>
  6. 6. Convergence of Social Media and SEO <ul><li>Social Media has been creating links and content since the first forum </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs became a huge force in the world of SEO </li></ul><ul><li>Social news sites like Digg began to significantly influence links </li></ul><ul><li>Universal search integrated Social Media components into search results (reviews, videos, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Yelp reviews get pulled into Yahoo local search </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube is now the worlds second largest search engine </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter and Facebook search is very popular </li></ul><ul><li>Bing incorporates Tweets into search </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines adopt more ranking metrics based on Social Media mentions and sentiment </li></ul>
  7. 7. How Social Media Affects SEO <ul><li>Real Time Search </li></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul><ul><li>Brand Related Search </li></ul><ul><li>Directly (Tweets, Reviews, Etc) in Algo </li></ul><ul><li>Social Search (Google, Facebook, Twitter) </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation Management </li></ul>
  8. 8. Real Time Search <ul><li>Google now incorporates real time </li></ul><ul><li>search results from the following </li></ul><ul><li>sources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FriendFeed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jaiku </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo Answers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>News Articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Content <ul><li>User generated content (UGC) is generated through social media in a number of ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog Commenting / Guest Blogging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Videos </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exceptional UGC tends to be </li></ul><ul><li>keyword focused </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritative communities generate </li></ul><ul><li>exceptional content and acquire links </li></ul><ul><li>SEO friendly community platforms </li></ul><ul><li>like Lithium create content </li></ul>
  10. 10. Content Examples <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Threads: 1,521,781 </li></ul><ul><li>Posts: 12,365,175 </li></ul><ul><li>Members: 332,739 </li></ul><ul><li>Active Members: 59,307 </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>According to Yahoo, Adobe has over 20K links to their Developer Center. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Links <ul><li>Social Media can produce both direct and indirect links: </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Links: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Social Media sites create link connectivity via profile links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some Social Media sites create link connectivity via posted links </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Links (con’t) <ul><li>Indirect Links: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many links are generated as a result of increased visibility through Social Media (Blogging, YouTube, Digg, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some links are generated by asking for them through Social Media channels (Twitter, Blogging, FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  13. 13. Links – Evaluating Social Media <ul><li>Each of these items has potential for SEO value. When implemented and integrated correctly, Social Media can maximize your exposure and enhance your Search Rankings. </li></ul><ul><li>Things to Consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are outbound links rel=nofollow? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do applications produce live links? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you import your blog RSS feed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do profile pages connect as a result of being friends? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is indexed under public profiles? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you customize link text? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you customize page titles? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do pages from that domain rank well? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How popular is the site? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Finding The Sweet Spot Strong SEO Value <ul><li>High Traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Quality Audience </li></ul><ul><li>High Participation </li></ul><ul><li>High Authority </li></ul><ul><li>High Number of Inbound Links </li></ul><ul><li>Valuable Content </li></ul><ul><li>Feature Rich Platform </li></ul><ul><li>Analytics tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Low Maintenance </li></ul>Strong Social Value Poor Social Value Poor SEO Value
  15. 15. Brand Related Search <ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The majority of corporate search traffic is brand specific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand search has the highest propensity to convert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No easy solution to understand which digital assets drive brand related traffic from search—until now </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribution Analytics can tie social media influence to brand related search generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media ROI calculations should include brand related search activity </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Direct Influence <ul><li>Algorithmic ranking factors for Google and Bing now include social media metrics – and are likely to be included in future algorithm updates. </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube rankings currently use social media metrics like number of comments, ratings, and video views. </li></ul><ul><li>The FaceBook “ILike” Button has the potential to significantly influence search in the future. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Social Search <ul><li>YouTube Search - is the second largest search engine in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook and Twitter Search - are becoming increasing popular </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia - owns many top search result listings (in many languages) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Circle Search - The more your social circle increases, the more your own web properties may appear in your client’s social search results when they are logged into Google </li></ul>
  18. 18. Reputation Management <ul><li>Active Social Media sites that have link connectivity, tend to rank well for company name related searches </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Some link development to company pages on these sites may be necessary. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Social Media Tactics <ul><li>Social Media Sites (General): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interlink your social media profiles whenever possible to make it easy for your friends to find you on other networks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop links to your social media sites. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create your own social media broadcast system by participating in your community and learning where your community lives. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a consistent participation schedule of important social media sites that are part of your social media broadcast system. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be active and participate in your own community daily. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Social Media Tactics (con’t) <ul><li>Blog: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start a blog (preferably self hosted using WordPress). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Update the blog consistently with thought leadership content that is keyword focused. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embed social bookmarking buttons for Twitter, FaceBook, Digg and Mixx on your blog posts (the “Share This” button is also cool!). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interlink blog post content to your main site content where it makes sense for users. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Social Media Tactics (cont’d) <ul><li>Facebook: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start a Facebook page and add the RSS Reader, Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube and Flickr applications to your page. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword focus your About Box. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assign Meta Data to Digital Assets. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Social Media Tactics (cont’d) <ul><li>Twitter: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start a Twitter page and sync it with your Facebook status. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include relevant keywords in your Tweets and FaceBook status updates. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background design should incorporate the brand’s numerous social profiles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the bio, use keywords that will help your profile get found from directories. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Social Media Tactics (cont’d) <ul><li>Videos: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload Videos through TubeMogul to YouTube and other video distribution channels. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload your videos to MySpace and Facebook in order to gain maximum exposure for traffic and links. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watermark all videos with URLs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include annotations for video series. This optimizes the user path. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Images: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload pictures to Flickr, MySpace and Facebook separately to maximize viral exposure. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customize your Flickr link back to your homepage. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Conclusion <ul><li>Social media has a number of implications for SEO: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Real Time Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand Related Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directly (Tweets, Reviews, Etc) in Algo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Search (Google, FaceBook, Twitter) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reputation Management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Conclusion (con’t) <ul><li>Social media is one of the most effective ways to acquire links and drive brand related search activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution Analytics is a new technology that can help tie multi-click attribution to social media efforts. </li></ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul>
  26. 26. Thank You <ul><li>Ray Comstock </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional BusinessOnLine Resources: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow Us On Facebook: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow Catfish On Twitter: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow BusinessOnLine On Twitter: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>