The online marketing world changed when Facebook became the #1 destination on the Internet. Somehow most of the marketing firms, ad agencies and website designers missed the boat. Social Marketing is not a new ‘separate’ thing for companies to do, it is one of the main requirements for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) success. Everyone optimizes for Google since Google has 67% of the entire search engine traffic but Facebook has 300 times more traffic than Google.
In 2010 Facebook partnered with Microsoft to integrate Bing as the search provider for users. In 2013 Facebook turned itself into a search engine with the release of Facebook GraphSearch with additional content provided by Microsoft Bing. Since Facebook has over a BILLION active users as of December 2012 the best place to reach someone online is now Facebook. Google is competing with Facebook for traffic and users but still uses Facebook posts, interactions and content as the #1 ranking criteria when determining how high to list a website on the Google Search Engine.
This clearly outlines that Social Networking has been a key aspect of Search Engine Optimization since 2008 when the first cooperative data exchanges were introduced. Social Networking is an art form similar to SEO in terms of how it needs to be setup, linked and optimized. If social networks are setup incorrectly they will bring little to no benefit for a business, product or service. Consider the example below setup for Distinctive Homes of Las Vegas where the Facebook page is listed #1 above ALL other builders when someone uses the new Facebook GraphSearch:
Based upon how the company Facebook page and content were setup and optimized they show up #1 above all the competition. A Google+ profile and company page improves ranking on Google when setup and optimized properly. Companies who are missing the key element of Search Engine Optimized Social Networking are missing out on more than 50% of potential reach online. SEO and Social Marketing cannot be separated they must be managed and maintained as part of an overall cohesive online marketing strategy to be successful. The Facebook GraphSearch first searches Facebook for content related to what you type then displays content from Bing search engine. The example below illustrates how a search for ‘Kansas City Pizza’ first shows the top result 11 of my immediate connections ‘Like’ followed by the most popular result, Grinders Pizza and then suggestions for additional terms based on location (Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas City, Kansas).
Adding a location to a search on Facebook is the same as adding a location to a search on any search engine. People who just search for ‘Pizza’ may end up with results for pizza places all over the world while people who specify a location will end up with better results. With the results above for ‘Kansas City pizza’ I could easily optimize any of the local pizza joints Facebook page to place them in the top few search results. The Social Marketing Optimization works for any business and dramatically improves rankings on search engines. A search for ‘Websites, Search Engine Optimization’ on Facebook GraphSearch brings up our company website first along with several suggestions related to this based on the traffic, interaction and how well the page has been optimized.
The key successfully integrating SMO and SEO is understanding how both social networks and search engines organize, rank and display data. Today the majority of links created TO websites are coming from Social Networks thus a website that is properly search engine optimized integrating social networking with social marketing optimized can easily have thousands upon thousands of active, high value links. The example below shows how one of our company websites is ranked by Google at 162,656 active links!
A website is not complete without being optimized for search engines and social networks. Search Engine Optimization is, in part, how a website is built and what content is placed within the website but the largest factor today on how well a website ranks is social networking. A successful website will incorporate SEO, Social Marketing with Social Marketing Optimization (SMO) and a strong ongoing online marketing campaign. Social Networking IS part of SEO and must be handled by the same experts who build the website, optimize the website and market the website for the best results. Ongoing adjustments with the website and online marketing need to be made as social networks change, release new features and search engines adjust ranking algorithms.
Make sure the website firm you hire has a COMPLETE understanding of the Internet, SEO and Social Networks or you may end up wasting time and money on an incomplete solution.
Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson
Internet Builder Consulting – Building BETTER Websites, SEO and Social Marketing Solutions