Chances are you've already invested quite a lot of time, resource, and no doubt hard cash into 'optimising' your website for all the relevant search engines, and now you have all these people telling you that 'Social Media' is the place to be found and seen, so what on earth do you do next?
Let's take a fairly simplified view of the key differences between 'searching' and discovery;
Search is awesome but only if the person carrying out that task knows what they're searching for.
Of course 'semantic' search helps to refine that search, try searching for 'hat' and see how many terms come up for that one keyword, so by making sure your website and related pages are technically optimised, and its able to be indexed by our friends at Google (its their bat and ball after all) then you may well win out over your competitors based on how well you 'rank', but as with anything in business its an ongoing process, and as we all know gaining #1 organic position for your keywords is the goal of every business, because coming 4th and thereafter means very few people will visit your site .
Ranking on search is not the Silver Bullet everyone thinks it is, there are deep skills at play, there are things like technical architecture at play, there are analytics at play that can assist you with improvements in the 'funnel' so you can still see that 97% of your visitors are 'bouncing' out of the site, you can still see how people have 'added to basket' and left then left the site, and there's also 'off site' SEO, which leads me to the value of social for driving highly qualified traffic to your website, inbound e-mail, or telephone system.
Which would you prefer:
A. Talking to a person;
B. Or talking to a brand with a logo for its face?
Most people will choose option A 100% of the time. It makes interactions more personal and instills trust much better.
Social media (without the intrusive adverts) is really about how we naturally 'discover' things that we might not be 'searching' for, its the stuff that interest us, intrigues and informs, its stuff that our friends and work colleagues have found of interest, and some of their interest sparks our curiosity, its just social right?
If you utilise social as a most amazing Superpower, leverage employee, and customer advocacy to a greater level than your competitors, guess what happens?
Yes, your organic ranking also improves, you magically 'own' that space, not just for keyword terms, but all those matched terms, and long tail keywords that also add up to the value recognised by the Google algorithm.
Does it need special skills, not really but you will need training.
Its called telling stories, and we can all do that can't we?
Obviously, you need to exist in social media before you can start using it as your traffic machine. Less obvious are the details of it. These are the elements that will lay the foundation of your social stronghold.
Once you’ve chosen which social platforms you are going to use, set up your personal accounts there – with your name and face. (If you already have them, great!) Be your own representative. Encourage others on your team to do the same, as well.
What do you do to grow your 'offsite' SEO?
While Google is still the best at directing visitors to sites, you can’t look at those numbers without being impressed.