Would you like to know how to make sure that your social media activity pays? Social Media Optimisation (or SMO) is no new thing, but it’s so important to make social media activity and search engine optimisation work hand-in-hand. This article tells you how; with 6 simple SMO tactics that will keep Google happy (and keep your site visible to the right people). Most site owners know the importance of search engine optimisation in ensuring that their website receives maximum traffic from the right visitors. Many businesses also know the value of having a presence on, and engaging on, social media. However, not everyone is combining the two into what is known in the internet marketing trade as ‘Social Media Optimisation’ or SMO. We’ve compiled 6 simple tactics that will help you to become more SMO-savvy and use social media to drive the right traffic to your site:
- Guest blogging
Which blogs do your target market read? Find them and see if there are any regular guest bloggers. If there are, see what they’re blogging about, what gets the most comments and shares and then approach the site/blog owner to see if you can get a guest spot for yourself. If and when you post your guest post, make sure you’re got the right keywords and use Rel=Author to link all of the content you post back to your Google profile (read more about how to do this here). If you get this right, you’ll start to see a photo of yourself and a link to your author profile popping up in Google search results, making your content stand out and improving its clickthrough rate!
- Ads with a +1
If you’ve set up a Google AdWords campaign, you can use ‘social extensions’ add a +1 button next to your ad. The main benefit, as we see it, is that this makes your ad stand out on the page, as well as obviously giving users the option to +1 your content, which may improve its search engine ranking. To read more about social extensions visit the AdWords help section.
- Blog sharing
When you write and publish a blog post, make sure you post links to it across all of your social media accounts. When you post the link, make sure it’s rich in keywords. In addition, you may want to consider having social sharing buttons on your blog so that users can easily share your content with others. There is a correlation between social media shares/likes and search engine rankings – you can read more here – this article is a year old but the key points still apply.
- Provoking discussion
If you post a blog, provide a call to action or content that provokes conversations both on your comments and on social networks. Think about how your content can start social conversations using the right keywords. A way of doing this is to monitor discussions within your target market and see what gets people talking the most or see which blog posts get the most shares and comments.
- Google places reviews
If you have a Google Places profile (and if you don’t you can set one up here), you’ll know that it can seriously improve your Google rankings for local phrases, if done well. One particularly key element is to ensure you have lots of positive reviews from happy customers on your Places page. You can tap into your social media presence to increase the number of reviews by, for example, posting a link on your Facebook page to your Google Places page and asking your social media contacts to review your business on there.
- Growing your network
If you want to grow a network of people to promote content to, don’t worry about having thousands of followers, likers or connections. For a good on-going social media optimisation effort, you’re better off spending, say, 30 minutes per day connecting and engaging with people who are most likely to read and share your content. As usual, quality is often better than quantity.
The main rule for effective SMO is that if you have the right content and provide the links to it and the facility to share it, then you’ll ensure that your social media activity drives the right traffic to your website. The next step is to convert them on your site – we’ll talk about that another time!