In today's competitive market, businesses of all shapes and sizes are increasingly aware that online marketing provides fantastic opportunity for growth. With a well designed website, a perfectly executed message and brand pushing on a grand scale; there is no reason why even the smallest business is not able to make an impact.
Admittedly with some of the world's biggest brands actively engaging within the online market, competing can be daunting to say the least. After-all without a budget that matches that of a giant corporations, how can the small business owner realistically achieve success? The beauty of online marketing however lies in the fact that it is a powerful platform and the success is potentially available to all, whatever the budget.
Naturally there are some methods of online marketing that will require a plethora of marketing income, the prime culprit here being PPC. However there is another that, although not free, has the potential to produce longer lasting results without the daily price tag. What I am referring to here is SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization; the process of optimizing a website so that it may be considered relevant for particular industry searches.
When a user types in a search, whatever it may be whether a "pink hat", some "gifts for men" or a "hairdresser in Liverpool" Google will scour its database to find what it considers to be the best results and that is where SEO comes in. SEO is a complex process that requires almost daily work, an immense knowledge of profitable keywords, an understanding of which areas of a website must be optimized and the importance of link building in order to be successful. Did you know however that, as increasingly important as this all is, today's SEO campaigns will be insufficient without one this; social media.
From its introduction, the importance, power and effect of social media has been open to debate but when it comes to SEO it really is now a open and shut case. In 2013 the SEO leaders over at Moz discovered a high correlation between Google+ + 1's on a page and the pages rankings. Effectively the results showed that anything shared naturally on G + would get indexed at a far greater speed than anything else.
Google's head of spam Matt Cutts had originally stated that "social signals" Ie the number of "likes", "shares" and comments any page achieved would be taken into account by the algorithm (that mysterious secret formula used to determine the ranking of a page). Naturally even the best of us would assume that Google would place its own social platform above others which is why G + and of course Google authorship leads the pack. However there is no reason to believe that other social media giants wouldn't also be taken into account.
For that reason, businesses are encouraged to get as socially involved as possible. From sharing content on their platforms, to generally engaging with social followers and fans, to attempting to drive traffic from their social platforms with unique offers and codes, there are countless ways that business can encourage social shares. Many SEO specialists also suggest that using popular keywords within your social bio and information as well as in your tweets and updates is another great way to give your offsite footprint a vital boost.
Whatever the business, a good SEO campaign can provide phenomenal opportunities but for a real impact social signals are crucial. Whether you believe it to be a waste of time, or you simply don't have the resources, give your social activity more consideration during your SEO work; with Moz proving the effects, it would be a shame to not make the most of what social signals could do for you!