Monday, 6 February 2012

SEO & Social Media Optimisation

SEO/SEM 
Often people are confused by search engine optimisation and search engine marketing, so let me put it simply…good SEO incorporates SEM amongst other factors and good SEM incorporates SEO, in fact, if good SEM doesn’t incorporate SEO, then I would drop the ‘good’ and replace it with ‘not so good’ and if you’re not taking advantage of SEM when doing SEO, to at least fill in the gaps of your SEO, then your SEM still needs work and you’re probably spending too much on your SEM. Oh, and let’s not forget that if your SEM doesn’t incorporate SEO then you’re not maximising your impressions, ranking, CTR, cost and you’re certainly not appearing in that yellow highlighted “money can’t buy” area of the SERPs, which means both your SEO and SEM need to be reviewed. Simple right..??

Fact: SEO/SEM is not simple to most people, if you don’t have a digital expert looking at this, then you’re likely to be doing it wrong.

Factors to consider

Search engines have become a lot more sophisticated these days and not as easy to have them favouring you by simply covering off the old the run of the mill SEO checklist. Google has over 300 independent factors in determining their page ranking; any of which can change at any time, without warning or consideration.

The driving force behind the decision to change the way search engines rank is simple, human behaviour, which Google and other search engines are trying to mimic.

  • Is your website trustworthy?
  • Is the content produced by an expert and is it original?
  • Does your website have replication?
  • Do you have spelling or style errors?
  • How likely is it that someone will want to share, bookmark or recommend your article or page?
  • Would you expect to see this article in print?
The above are just some examples of what search engine bots are now programmed to look for as well as the old run of the mill stuff, which is simply good digital practice these days.


Social Media Optimisation


Do you listen to your friends?

It’s no surprise that people turn to the web to research products before they visit a store or make a purchase online. Search engines such as Google are the primary destination for initial research. However, online communities’ i.e. social media are sources of referrals from a trusted human network.

The research

The extent of that influence was revealed in a report by Market Tools, finding that 47% of consumers who research within social networks are influenced by the feedback (According to http://www.marketingcharts.com/, an authority in the reporting of online activity). More importantly, 26% of respondents indicated they had changed their mind based on feedback they received within a social network.

What is it?

Social media optimisation is therefore the process of basically optimising your social media communication initiatives, which engage with likers/followers/potential customers to attract an audience for which to expose your targeted communication.

This is far from a new concept and but just think of it like adjusting ad placements based on stats such as your impressions, click-through rates (CTR), conversions and of course cost per conversion. In a sentient, eliminate what isn’t working for you, and do more of what is.

Optimise your social by being S.M.A.R.T
Any campaign across any channel should exercise Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T) goals. It is perfectly ok for social media campaigns to have goals similar to those of online ads, such as driving traffic to a website or getting a potential customer to fill out a form. If engagement with social media IS the goal, you'll just have to optimise for higher engagement, be it Facebook comments, re-tweets, etc. See below for screenshots of how to optimise you social media pages (screenshots courtesy of 'Business 2 Community).

Just be sure to track data and remember what I say, if you can’t track it, don’t do it!

THE MORAL
WHEN YOU RID YOURSELF OF ALL THE SUGAR COATING there are ONLY two ways to market: dumber, slower & expensive or smarter, faster & cheaper.

What we really need is a mindset shift that will make us relevant to today’s consumers, a mindset shift from ‘telling & selling’ to building relationships.” JIM STENGEL FORMER GLOBAL MARKETING OFFICER, PROCTER & GAMBLE

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- Above sreenshots courtesy of 'Business 2 Community