Article by Guest Poster
This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.
The first impression your clients get about your company often comes from your website. The type and the quality of textual and visual materials your website contains, its information architecture, link structure, as well as search engine and social media positioning, usually determine this first impression by making it easier or harder for a customer to find your business, find their way through the website itself and trust your business.
Ask yourself this: “Would I trust a business whose website doesn’t appear on the first page of SERPs, which is hard to browse once I have found it and which has no social media presence?” Would you? Of course not.
This is why SEO was created in the first place – to make your business and your website stand out, get noticed and leave an impression of being trustworthy. SEO and Social Media can make it easy for your customers to find your website, get a good impression about your business and trust you. Combined with other marketing techniques, SEO and Social Media Marketing can bring outstanding results.
I will now guide you through the world of SEO and Social Media and advise you about the things you need to know if you are just entering this world and you are not quite clear how things work, and you want to earn good money from your website.
The benefits of SEO and Social Media are manifold. Aside from costing less than traditional marketing, they bring great results in relatively short periods of time. Full advantage of SEO and SMM can be taken if you use it for:
Spreading the name of your brand across the Internet.
Different SEO and link building techniques, especially guest blogging and social media marketing, can disseminate the name of your brand really fast. SEO and SEM are excellent if you want your brand to be heard and read about.
Increasing brand awareness.
This one is tightly related to the previous one. Once your brand name reaches the audience, brand awareness needs to be sustained and further increased. This is achievable through a long-term branding strategy.
Increasing the visibility of your website.
It is not enough that everyone hears about the existence of your business and your brand. What happens when people want to find your website, but they can’t find you on the first page of the SERPs? They usually give up. The task of SEO and SMM is to increase the visibility of your website by positioning it in just the right place in the organic search.
Getting targeted traffic.
Targeted traffic is of the utmost importance for conversions, because conversions bring you money and not traffic itself. SEO and SMM are both focused on bringing in the targeted traffic, SEO through the usage of organic search engine results targeting and SMM through the leveraging of social profiles and connections.
Achieving high ROI.
Achieving high ROI is the main goal of all SEO and SMM efforts. This is achieved through the usage of SEO and SMM techniques which increase CTR, conversion rates, and ultimately the ROI.
SEO and Social Media campaigns are often done on a large scale, and they include several of the aforementioned benefits. I have chosen two case studies as an example of what I was saying, and they emphasize social media and content marketing, but include other benefits as well.
A good example of a successful social media campaign is the Expedition 206 by Coca-Cola. Though Coca-Cola was already a large brand, the principle they used could be applied to other, smaller brands. Namely, they used social media in order to pick three lucky people to travel around the world in 2010.
These people, however, had to go to 206 markets where the Coca-Cola Company had a presence. The chosen team promoted Coca-Cola when promoting themselves in order to be chosen by the voters, and when they went on their trip they took photos and were very active on social media, where a large number of people wanted to see all the places they traveled to, so again Coca-Cola was being promoted on a large scale.
Imagine all the benefits the Coca-Cola Company got from this. Considering that it was already a widespread brand, you may wonder why they needed it in the first place. This way they improved their presence on the market, sparked an increase in consumption, improved their ROI, reinforced their internet presence and popularized their social network presence.
The other case study I found interesting is related to the impact of tweets on rankings. The Beginners Guide to SEO by SEOMoz started ranking on the first page of SERPs for the keyword “beginner’s guide” after Smashing magazine tweeted about it. It was a large scale tweet, re-tweeted by many, and it proves that with the right SEO strategy, you can get such a significant tweet which would boost your traffic for a certain keyword.
You can find more web marketing case studies on the Startupremarkable website.
Website owners of different profile usually pose a bunch of questions when choosing an SEO agency, and later on, during the whole process of SEO strategy implementation. That is good, because the clearer it is to you, the better. Some of the most often posed questions which you should also ask the SEO agencies when choosing the right one are:
Questions about the costs.
This is completely understandable, concerning the limited budget most businesses face. However, you need not worry. You have to pay a certain price to get real results, but usually the cost, and thus the service, can be adapted to your budget and your needs successfully.
Questions about the focus.
If you are confused concerning SEO and SMM services, the agency you would want to hire will certainly explain everything to you. Be careful when choosing the agency, though. The focus needs to be on your return on investment, profit and long-term results.
Questions about the ways of organizing the cooperation.
This should also be discussed, since you need to keep a constant line of communication and coordination with the SEO and SMM teams if you want results. The strategy needs to be made and constantly adapted according to your business plans.
In this part of the article, I wanted to introduce you to some of the potential problems and difficulties you may experience after you decide to use the potential of SEO and SMM campaigns. These obstacles can easily be overcome and shouldn’t frustrate you.
Setting unrealistic goals for SEO. SEO is powerful, but it isn’t almighty. You cannot expect it to bring you 10000 visitors overnight. Any SEO company which makes promises such as this one is a pure scam. The sooner you accept this fact, the better the SEO results will be. Your SEO consultant knows what he is doing, and he will make sure your site realizes its full potential. If you are doing SEO on your own, make sure to be realistic.
Thinking you can get it done cheaply. SEO and SMM offer an affordable strategy, but they are not cheap, only cheaper than traditional marketing. Be ready to invest if you want real ROI.
Thinking it can all be done in a jiff. SEO and SMM require some time and testing, as well as constant work. SEO is a good investment, but it will take some time before it pays off.
Facing challenges because you do not have an established brand. Think of it as a chance to create an image for your brand you always wanted. It is a bit difficult to establish a brand, but once you do it the way you always wanted it, all the effort will pay off. Just adapt your strategy and include branding, or hire someone to do it for you. A business coach, for example, can find an agency to do it for you, and he or she can take care of all the requirements.
Facing challenges because you compete against powerful websites. When I say powerful, I mean large websites that have been around for a long time and have a successful SEO history. Fear not, for a proper SEO and SMM strategy can slowly, but successfully beat this kind of websites. Of course, it needs to be combined with an outstanding business strategy.
SEO and SMM have a large marketing potential. An intelligent strategy can bring your website a long way. Since you have probably already done something in this field, I would like to finish off by asking you for your opinion on the matter. What is your experience with SEO and SMM? Share with us; leave your comments, so that we can work on this together.