The wild times of search engine optimization (SEO) are over since a long time. Also search engine marketing has seen better days and looks kind of outworn. Pure SEO already lost its powerful signification in the online marketing space and social media optimization is on the verge to displace it.
Google The SEO Gravedigger?
It is Google the worldwide known search giant itself that takes the biggest part in killing a complete marketing channel over the time. After huge search algorithm changes like Panda and Penguin the whole optimization work slightly feels like a guessing game. And, of course, the biggest problem for today’s SEOs and webmasters are the “not provided” keywords. That means if people are searching something with being logged in, Google no longer reports referring keyword data in case of privacy protection. But you really need that data to further optimize your content and web pages.
A study by Optify revealed that “not provided” keywords have increased by more than 170 percent for B2B pages within the last year. Also there are already some workarounds and most of them requiring at least a basic knowledge in the area of data analysis and data mining, the regular guy won’t get it done.
And most recently, it gets even worse for all the SEOs who like to use tools. Around November 2012 Google revoked the AdWords API access for SEOmoz and Raven Tools. Certainly a really bad situation for these two popular SEO tools. Google stated, that they violated their terms of service. It seems both tools made way too much API calls and profited in a way Google doesn’t want to see anymore. Therefore it is only a matter of time when other tools will tap into the same problem.
Social Media Optimization – The SEO Replacement
It seems that pure SEO approaches will get into big struggle to hold performance and success. Above mentioned tools SEOmoz, Raventools and many other vendors in the SEO area already enhanced their toolset with social media related tools, like monitoring, scheduling, analytics and so on. It all looks as if social media optimization is on its way to extend or nearly inherit the pure SEO work. It’s a well-known fact that social media already powers most SEO ambitions. And, of course, vice versa.
Again Google plays a major role for that shifting process. Google wants well-written content that meets the needs of people who searched for it. Therefore content which was only or mainly created out of SEO reasons gets devalued in general. Here social signals are getting into the game. It seems that Google ranks content higher the more Likes, Tweets, Shares, Google Pluses, Pins and so on they get. For this reason marketers need to create engaging content and moreover, reaching their desired audience on the corresponding social networks, hoping that this audience will redistribute the content to even more people.
At last every marketer hopes that their content goes viral. Back then it was the linkbait, today it is the sharebait which often results not only in higher rankings but also in broadening your audience on social networks on which you are active. A sharebait is a piece of content with goes viral across the social web. Last but not least there is Google+, the social network built up by Google itself to get more social – any other questions?
How To Optimize Your Social Media Efforts?
In principle SMO is setting up the social media assets of your brand to create a coherent overall presence. In fact, with the announcement of Facebook’s graph search engine it s becoming a really important task to optimize your Facebook page in a manner SEOs did with a website for Google before. Like already mentioned the main goal is to grow your audience and, of course, to improve your sales. Because of Google’s favor for Social Media Optimization, it also helps to hold your search engine ranks or boost them even higher.
First of all, your pages, blogs, products etc. need the well-known sharing and bookmarking buttons to make it quick and easy for people to share that content across the web. After creating profiles for your brands on all networks that make sense for you, SMO works hand in hand with social media marketing. Furthermore social media optimization can be done by promoting your content like commenting on blogs and forums or post updates by others. Here it sounds really familiar with SEO work. SMO can also include writing blog posts, creating whitepapers, landing pages and videos. To keep track and your eyes on what your competitors are doing, it is clearly recommended to use social media analytics. Only with benchmarking and tracking your social media performance you can optimize your efforts. So, the key for SMO is to create a strategy that truly and coherent focuses on socializing your content and meeting the needs of your audience.
Are you still working on pure SEO strategies or are you already lighting it with social media optimization?