In April, Google updated their algorithm with the now infamous Penguin release. The follow-up to Google’s 2011 update, Panda, Penguin was a shock wave that changed how pages rank in Google in a dramatic fashion. The update has caused quite a stir for search engine optimization (SEO) experts who have had to work night and day to figure out what works and what doesn’t under these new algorithm changes.
With these changes to Google and other search engines, one thing is clear: building a solid Web presence is critical to get found on search engines. One way to help build your Web presence is to create and optimize your social media pages to rank on the search engine results page. Here are a few Web Presence Optimization tips the experts swear by.
Claim & Optimize Your Social Media Sites
Google, Yahoo!, and Bing are now all putting more emphasis on social media sites when it comes to your rank on their search engines. The four main social media sites that any SMB should be a part of are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube. Other social sites like Pinterest are also gaining traction to boost your organic search rank. Start by claiming a page or profile on each of these sites for your business, and then optimize each page to include a consistent use of your business name, link to your business website, and other important factors to help you get found via search. Here are a few resources to check out:
- Facebook SEO Tips for Your Local Business
- Your Guide to Optimizing Local Google+ Pages
- Video SEO Tips: How To Optimize Your Videos for Google and YouTube
Regularly Engage with Your Audience
Google’s algorithm isn’t just checking to see if you have a social media profile for your business. It’s also noticing how often you’re updating those sites and engaging with your audience. For instance, if your Facebook fan page is basically a shell without any activity, you can expect that fan page to provide little to no value in regards to ranking on the search engines.
At least once per day, someone should be responding for your business to comments, retweets, mentions, and any type of engagement received on your Facebook fan page, Google+ page, Twitter page, or other social media page. Become familiar with the different ways that users interact on social sites and make sure that you’re checking for updates and responding regularly.
Put More Emphasis on Quality Content
Publishing quality content on the Web is a powerful way to get your business’ social media sites indexed by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. But, what is quality content exactly, and how can you create it?
- Create informative, interesting, or entertaining articles that are geared toward your target consumers. What do your target consumers want to read about, or what are they interested in learning? When considering content topic ideas, think about frequently asked questions your business receives on a regular basis from consumers. This will allow you to generate educational content that consumers can really benefit from. Once you’ve created your content, be sure the finished pieces are not only educational but also entertaining to read. Keep in mind that quality content isn’t meant to only sell your products and services. It’s meant to educate your consumers while also keeping them engaged or entertained, which builds trust between your business and consumers. For example, if you’re selling cars, generating quality content about fun destination trips in your area would be useful and entertaining to your prospects. Who doesn’t love a great road trip story?
- Post photos and videos. Additionally, the more photos you can add to your galleries on each social media pages, the better. Google loves images, and with good reason. Not only are they loved by users, but they also allow you to personalize your brand, showcase your products and location, and interact with your audience. Similarly, having search-optimized videos on YouTube can boost your search discoverability, because YouTube videos tend to rank well on Google, and consumers love to click on and watch videos. Make sure you are including your top keywords in your titles, tags, and descriptions as well as links back to your website, so they are more likely to rank in search when someone searches for those terms.
- Publish content regularly. Google is also looking at how often you update your pages and publish fresh content. If you’re only publishing one piece of quality content per month, you won’t generate the activity that you need to build search discoverability, and Google will see that you’re behind your competitors in regards to updating your page.
- Point hyperlinks to relevant pages on your website. Often, SMBs will create content on other sites that links back to an irrelevant page within their site. In other words, they’re linking to pages within their website that have nothing to do with the actual content topic, which can negatively impact their native site’s SEO. For example, a blog post about preventing diabetes that links to a site page about asthma treatment isn’t considered quality content and will most likely be ignored by Google. On the other hand, if your post is about preventing diabetes and links to a page that discusses diabetes in some way, you’ll see better results. Ask yourself if the hyperlinks within your content take consumers to a page that also educates them on the exact topic of your post. Google is searching for relevancy of links, a critical component of SEO.
To help your business build a robust Web presence and rank well in search, keep your focus on producing quality content that is informative, thoughtful, and entertaining. These guidelines for helping build a Web presence can help you be successful on the search engine results page.
What kind of search-friendly content are you creating for your business? Are you using social media to help your business rank well on the search engines? What other Web Presence Optimization tactics have you tried? Leave us a comment to let us know!
About the Author
Ashley Stalnaker is a Web Presence Professional at ReachLocal who helps small business owners enhance and build their online presence through social media, content marketing, and reputation management.
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