Powerboost your SEO with social media to drive links, revenue

As the economy struggles, marketers are challenged to do more with less. Many are turning to SEO as the efficient, effective way to drive links, conversions and revenue. But, here are a few words of experienced caution as you consider search engine optimization (SEO).

Effective SEO strategies, plans and programs are not easy, requiring a high degree of expertise to effect, and a long-term commitment to maintain. But the return can be long lasting. Social media have made a splash in the last couple years as cost-effective and successful strategies for branding and CRM, but they’re now ever more important to search. The speed at which information is distributed via social channels is helpful for search, generating tremendous numbers of quality inbound links quickly. Socially shared content ranks higher, and rises through the ranks quickly.

Social media can help boost your SEO to gain from the combined efforts. It provides traction and footing in a new area that is highly measurable. This requires investment, but a foundational program can be launched for your goals and budget. Blended Meta/Social Media sites are expected to rise in popularity this year, efficiently driving SEO results. Meta sites collect links to content from original sources and social sites allow conversations on stories from original sources. Blended sites rely on content from other social sites and automate, organize and structure data. Optimize your Web site content so that it’s easily crawled and indexed, by adding bookmarking widgets and RSS or Atom feeds to a Web site or blog.

When boosting SEO, consider a blog program. Technically, blogging is not considered social media, but it relies on many of the same principles — conversations, opinions and the ability to spread virally and rapidly. In terms of its relation to search, blogs are very SEO-friendly — lots of text, which is updated frequently, and bloggers like to link. Those links add up and contribute to SEO results in a significant way. Encourage your clients to explore a corporate blog and work a strategy into your overall SEO program.

Social media and SEO are not free — to do it right still entails investment. But the returns can be staggering when they are integrated strategically. We’re in a new environment for online marketing, but being smart about SEO can help keep you on top — no matter the economic situation.

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