At several conferences I’ve used the image above to illustrate how a blog can be the centerpiece to a social SEO effort where objectives are focused on raising brand awareness and improving customer relationships in a way that is beneficial to search engine visibility.
I see several key opportunities with a unified SEO and Social Media strategy:
1. Social media involvement produces content. Content that is optimized and linked to, does well in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Therefore, optimized social content and the digital assets that are common to social media (images, video, audio and widgets) are all optimization opportunities. Better search engine visibility means more traffic to social media content from customers that are looking for it.
2. Of the top 20 search engines according to comScore qSearch in August 2009, 3 are search functions within social media web sites. YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. MySpace and Facebook are also in the top 20. In fact, Facebook’s percentage of increase from July to August was more than double any other search engine in the top 20.
The increasing popularity of search within social networks presents optimization and analytics opportunities. Marketers need to realize search doesn’t just happen on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Twitter is many things, including social network, messaging platform and search engine.
3. While great content is instrumental for great performance within organic search results, publishing in a vacuum is naive. Creating distribution channels for great content can drive awareness, traffic and inbound links. Optimized content with a quantity of quality incoming links results in superior search visibility.
Social networks and media sites that have social networking functionality offer prime opportunities to interact with communities of interest and can be particularly effective as distribution channels.
If there were ever a legitimate way to automate link building, it would be the RSS disribution and syndication functionality to promote new content to people who are interested. Those same people are often publishers in the form of blogging, reviews, comments and new features like Google SideWiki with the ability to link out to what they’re interested in.
The diagram above illustrates this situation well, where a blog is the central repository of content and social media sites around it are the developed networks of communities and channels of distribution for quality, keyword optimized content.
What other opportunities do you see with Social Media SEO?
I’ll be presenting on this topic today at 9:45 during the MIMA Summit, Salon C. If you’re attending the sold out event, I hope to see you there. If not, check out the live video stream on the MIMA Summit web site. We’ll also be liveblogging the event here, so watch for more posts later this morning and afternoon.