There is a lot to be said for social media and its rise in the world of search engine optimisation. People often talk about social media optimisation (SMO) without actually knowing what it is?
This article is a very basic guide and will briefly explain the main different types of social media and how they can help you increase your exposure online.
Forums & Message Boards Guide
You can often find very specific forums surrounding your particular area of interest. It is often worth either creating or joining one of these in order to get into the online community. It is very much frowned upon and you risk being kicked out of the forum if you post infrequently and link to your own site. The key is to try being helpful and actively taking part in debate. That way no one will mind if you post the odd link back to your site as long as it’s in context with the particular subject. Many forums place no follows on links within comments and posts, but regular contributors sometimes have their nofollows removed in return for the value their input has to the forum.
Bookmarking / Social News Guide
Social bookmarking is all about alerting others to interesting and quality content on the internet. Sites like Stumbleupon, Reddit and Digg are such sites that allow users to rate or bookmark a page- this flags it up to their friends who may choose to bookmark it. This then alerts their friends and the process repeats. This process then snowballs until the page in question ends up on the sites ‘Most Popular’ on the front page, which again leads to more views. Each bookmark creates a link back to the original page submitted- but not all sites provide a ‘followed’ link. This can only occur if the content is very appealing / funny / useful. If done well enough the effect will spill over to other social networks, emails etc. This is what is known as going ‘viral’. The overall effect is that it generates a large volume of very relevant high value links.
Blogs are a fantastic way of creating quality, fresh content relating to your industry. When blogging always hyperlink from your blog to pages you want to optimise in your main site using keywords and related long-tail keywords. Optimising the blog post itself is another way of getting visibility in search engines for niche keywords. Make sure the long-tail or niche keyword is in the title and description as well as the header. As long as the content is related and contains the keyword once or twice, the post should be well optimised. Blogs can be long or short and are often written informally.
Articles are pieces of quality content written that are normally written impartially. This is an article that you are reading right now. You can choose to host it one of three ways:
- On your own site – optimise for niche terms and add internal links as you would with a blog
- You can submit it to several ‘article submission sites‘ that host it for you and allow a single text link back to your site.
- You can also do a combination of the two – you must have different content to submit and to what is hosted on your site.
Micro-blogging is one of the new areas everyone is talking about in SEO. It includes sites such as Facebook & Twitter, where users choose to ‘follow’ updates from other users. This is an area that creates very fast-paced debate and very relevant links (although they are nofollowed). You can create a page for your business where you can keep in touch with your target market and update them with latest news and tips (see Search Laboratory’s twitter page).
Videos & Photos Guide
Everyone has had emails with links to funny videos and photos in the past. These are highly link worthy and interesting to users in social networks. Hosting a very valuable video on your site can be gold in terms of attracting links to your site. It is however, very difficult to find something relevant to your site that will attract this sort of attention. It is often weird and wacky things that have the potential to go ‘viral’.
If you are interested in finding out more about social media optimization services that Search Laboratory offer, then please get in touch with one of our account managers.
Written by Jimmy McCann, SEO Account Manager at Search Laboratory.