Is SEO dead?

Thanks to the recent introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm, the rumors of SEO heading towards its demise are circulating around the Internet.  With social media marketing gaining immense importance for online businesses, the role of SEO is questioned. Dark clouds loom over SEO, but before you jump into any conclusions, a fair question to ask at this point is whether or not SEO is being replaced by social media marketing.

A few years ago, this statement would have been termed preposterous. However, Google’s new algorithm has emphasized the importance of long tail keywords that have enhanced the meaning of search.
Now users are able to carry out voice activated searches which include conversation in the search.  Specifically targeted towards products and services, 70% of all searches across the globe are conversational. This new addition has revolutionized the old fundamentals of SEO.

Is social media marketing the future?

Lately, social media has emerged as the new face of marketing and manipulating searches online. Google has launched a personal search results feature page that consists of photos and other results shared by friends on social networks.  With the new personal search result, the conventional model of packing the headline with keywords will become gradually replaced by social activity on Google’s own social network.

In the long-run, the  big guns of social media marketing such as Twitter and Facebook, also want to be included by Google in personal search results. Therefore, social media is not just about your social presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms but it has taken the form of a powerful engine that develops social followings and optimization of content.

The content itself is not just restricted to the Internet but also spans out to mobile phones. Anyone who has been oblivious to the new wave of social media marketing is going to miss out on engaging with the increasing number of digital audience.  In order to survive the cut-throat competition and save your business from being banished away, you need to learn how to market through social media as soon as possible.

Social media can multiply your SEO impact. Read these 10 tips on effective social media marketing.

1. Know what your competition is up to

By evaluating the content written on various blogs, you can write on similar topics, but obviously this does not mean “copying” someone else’s idea. In fact, you can take ideas from those sources and write with a different take on similar topics. Some tools such as Social Crawlytics and SEMRush help you to analyze competitor’s content and to find the count of each post shared across social networks.

2. Increase views with attractive thumbnails

YouTube is a vital weapon for helping you grow your business online. Since everyone these days is on YouTube posting videos, how can you increase your chances of being pick out by potential customers? The answer lies in creating compelling and attention-grabbing thumbnails for your videos. The secret behind those awesome thumbnails is three simple words: Graphics, Text and X-Factor.

3. Pick and choose the platforms

It is better to pick three or four social media platforms where you can build the strongest presence for your company. There are a number of media platforms to choose from. Instead of being jack of all trades and master of none, try to build a strong presence on a few where you find the most number of potential customers. How do you figure out where your audience is? Simple! Join online groups and communities with those platforms that focus on your products or services.

4. Take advantage of Twitter’s advanced search feature

Twitter can be handy for finding ways to interact with prospect customers. Thanks to the Advanced Search option in Twitter, you can instantly find customers looking for products or services similar to what you have to offer.  The best part is that it is free of cost and it provides an instant opportunity to connect with the customers and bring business your way.

5. Connect with email subscribers

Considered a traditional method, email is still one of the most critical tools for sending out notifications and offers to your visitors/ customers. With the latest Gmail Promotional tab, it is likely for the email to be overlooked, as not many people even check the email if it doesn’t appear in the primary Inbox. You can get around this problem by connecting with your blog update subscribers on LinkedIn and Facebook. A social CRM tool by the name of Rapportive helps you export and connect with social network connections on your Gmail sidebar.

6. Make your podcast easily consumable on mobile

Don’t forget the importance of mobile phones and their role in social media marketing. Smart phones are your vital weapon as the majority of people listen to podcasts through them.  When a user clicks on a podcast, most smart phones launch a new window and start playing the content. To make the experience richer, install a simple HTML5 audio player on your blog so that the new users can read and hear the podcast in same window all at the same time.

More to read on: How To make Enhanced Podcasts

7. A picture is worth a thousand words

Adding Pintrest into your business can make all the difference. With 65% of human beings as visual learners, you should pay heed to this wide percentage of people who still rely on visuals. By adding an original photo pertaining to your business and pinning it on Pinterest, you are engaging people with visuals. Continue this practice for a month and then find out the kind of traffic you are able to drive through this method with the help of Google Analytics.

8. Employ Google+ Reverse Image Lookup

Google is not just about links and ranks. Now Google+ helps you build relationships in your related industry of expertise. Through Google+, you can engage with people of which Google thinks highly. Do a Google reverse image search to find where they are currently contributing and convert from great guest opportunities for your business.

9. Engage social media as a publicity engine

Brain Clark, founder and CEO of Copyblogger, emphasizes on imagining the social media platform as a publicity engine. Okay, you have added all the appropriate content on social networks, but traffic from these platforms means nothing unless it is actually converted into customers. So make sure you add relevant content to attract the right kind of prospect customers and not just random traffic on your website. This requires sensitive planning and monitoring of your content to see what you are doing right and what is not going in your favor. Remember, content in social media marketing is a valuable asset because if someone finds it worthy, they are likely to share it with others also which will help you generate the necessary buzz for your business.

10. Use SlideShare Pro to get subscribers

Anyone who is familiar with SlideShare Pro is aware of its enormous power in allowing you to collect leads and subscribers. By paying a meager fee of $16 a month, you can acquire a SlideShare Pro account and engage with a vast number of potential customers through it. SlideShare was purchased by LinkedIn and sees about 100 million visitors every month.  Easily integrated with most marketing automation systems, you can acquire subscribers and ultimately drive new leads through this handy tool.

Conclusion

SEO is transcending towards social media marketing. The importance of all these social media platforms continues to increase. 2014 is only a few weeks away. This makes it all the more reason to put your thinking cap on and develop new ways for surviving and expanding your business further. By taking into account these valuable tips, you can enhance your marketing strategies, develop new leads and put your business into new heights. It is time to evolve into something better. Take a little time to decide where you want to be the next year in terms of your business and its future. Best of luck! :)

So what would be your online marketing strategy for 2014? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

These days, almost everyone uses social media of some variety, but using social media for personal branding can be tricky. Learn how to market with social media the right way by following these 10 Steps to Avoid When Promoting on Social Media

Featured photo credit: cloud of words or tags related to SEO (search engine optimization) on a digital tablet with a cup of coffeevia Shutterstock

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