What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process by which search engines such as Google read the data on your website and understand its content. (Here’s their explanation.) By cleverly using appropriate keywords to define the purpose of your site, it can increase search rankings and help your business appear higher up the list. Meta descriptions, or the description of your site that appears under the search result ranking, can be a benefit to your site by accurately summing up your purpose in as few words as possible. Accurate page titles and a detailed site map are other ways that your site can be SEO ready. But these things alone won’t put you on the top of Google’s first page.
Back Link to the Future
Today, as when Google was created, the number of other pages that link to yours is a large measure of how high your search result ranking can be. In the early days, the only real metric that existed was measuring how many other sites linked back to a particular one. For all intents and purposes, Google still works exactly the same way, if only with a few new metrics added in. So, with your site fully optimized, how can you increase the number of links back to your online home?
Is Media Really Social?
There are two ways to drive traffic and increase links back to your site, earned media and paid media. Earned media is organically driven and derived from things such as user reviews, posts on Facebook, and user generated blogs. However, earned media has a limited reach. According to Klout, content on Facebook reaches only around 6% of its followers with Twitter content reaching just 30%. Also, only 5% of social media users create 50% of all content. However, when done correctly, through compelling blogs, genuine user reviews, well-crafted video, and distribution through social channels, earned media is highly trusted by consumers. So, how do you extend its reach?
You Gotta Pay to Play
By opting into paid media in the form of online advertising such as display ads, pay per click advertising, and sponsorships, you gain access to powerful tools to identify your audience. Traditional style advertizing streams in places like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google will tell you who your message is reaching and how best to target them. Paid media also provides an avenue to expand beyond your direct followers and bring in a new audience who might not have been aware of you otherwise. With both paid and earned media working together, you can bring your quality message to more and more people.
The Road Goes Ever Onward
SEO is a complicated process that involves not only careful attention to detail in the beginning, but also ongoing diligence to create content, grow back links, manage advertizing, and interpret metric data. Creating the perfect message from the start will inform every piece of the process to ensure a unified brand, while understanding what the search engine itself is looking for will increase your ranking. With website SEO best practices and quality media in the form of both paid and earned working together, your company will be in the best position to grow.