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10 Ways Social Media Dramatically Improves SEO

10 Ways Social Media Dramatically Improves SEO

Your website is only valuable if potential customers can find it. One of the best ways to draw customers to your e-commerce business is through organic traffic. This is when you’ve optimized your site so search engines consider you a trusted source of valuable information.

When your site is fully optimized, customers don’t have to know about your brand. They simply have to search for the product they want to buy or problem they want to solve.

When someone visits your site because they clicked on a link found in a list of search results, that’s called organic traffic. You can optimize your site so search engines will give you a higher ranking.

There are many different search engine optimization techniques you can use. Some of the most effective methods are creating high quality content, building reputable backlinks, and developing connections with influencers in your industry.

One underutilized, but extremely effective, SEO technique involves using social media. Here are 10 easy ways social media can boost your organic traffic.

1. Create a Consistent Tone

Social media communication is frequently informal. At the same time, you’ll want to stay professional. Develop a “voice” for your social media posts. This is the style and type of language used.

Your voice will depend on both your product and target audience. If your product is fun and your audience young, your voice can be witty and loose. If your product is serious (a financial or medical service, for instance) you’ll probably want to adopt a more formal tone.

Once you’ve discovered your voice, use it consistently across all messaging. This creates a connection with your potential customers; they’ll start to think of your brand as a personality. A consistent voice also ties all of your social media platforms back to your brand.

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2. Identify the Best Social Network

Most marketers focus exclusively on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the best strategy. Sure, Facebook and Twitter are large and popular. But they might not be the most popular choice among your target audience.

For instance, about 42% of all female internet users use Pinterest. If your target audience is female and your product is visual, Pinterest can connect you with a lot of potential customers.

Another example is LinkedIn. This platform is primarily used by business professionals. If you offer a B2B product or service, you’ll want an active LinkedIn presence.

Always be on the lookout for social networks where you’ll be able to find a potential audience interested in what your brand has to offer.

3. Avoid the Hard Sell

The average person follows more friends and family than brands on social media. This means their social media feeds have more posts from people instead of advertisements. Social media users tend to get annoyed if a brand advertises too heavily.

People on social media want interesting information. Most of your social media activity should be shares related to your industry, not ads for your products or services. A good rule of thumb is to post about seven industry articles for every three product mentions.

4. Post Strategically

When you post is often as important as how you post. You’ll want to post at times when your audience is most receptive to your message.

This will depend on your audience and what social platform you’re using. Trying to reach business professionals on LinkedIn? They’re most likely to check LinkedIn between 9 am and 5 pm during the workday.

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What if you’re trying to reach Twitter users? This group is young and mobile. They’re likely to check their Twitter feed between about 11 am and 1 pm, which is during a typical lunch break. After 5 pm is also a good time to tweet.

5. Connect with Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers are people who have a lot of followers and a good amount of influence in a particular niche or industry. They can be a great way for your brand to be introduced to a large, new base of potential customers.

You’ll want to develop relationships with influencers in your industry. To do this, you’ll have to connect with them through social media. You’ll also have to provide something of value. This can be content you create which they’ll publish on their site, a free product to review, or something similar.

6. Be Interactive

Social media isn’t a one-way form of communication. You’ll want to engage with your followers regularly. This means responding to both compliments and complaints.

Social media users don’t want to wait too long for a response. One effective tool here is Mention. This monitors a huge variety of social media platforms and notifies you whenever your brand is, well, mentioned.

Not every comment about your brand is going to be positive. That’s okay. You want to deal with complaints quickly, professionally, and publicly. Even if you can’t please that specific customer, other potential customers will appreciate a professional response.

7. Create Online Communities

You not only want to engage with potential customers on your page, you also want to create online spaces. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all let you create your own group for your followers to post in. This allows you more control over your brand and message.

To grow your group, you’ll want to offer new subscribers some unique and useful content. This could be a guide, e-book, podcast, or something similar your audience will respond to. Once someone subscribes to your group, you can begin introducing them into the Conversion Funnel.

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8. Join Existing Online Communities

Find and join social media groups. These don’t have to be groups necessarily related to your industry directly. Instead, they should have an audience which is potentially interested in your products.

Your audience doesn’t think about your brand all the time. They have other interests, too. Once you identify these interests, join any related Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media groups.

Don’t join groups and simply start promoting your products. People will understandably be annoyed. Instead, you want to just make yourself known. Show an interest in the subject of the group. Be friendly. This will help build trust and increase your reputation among your target market.

9. Buy Facebook Ads (with Precision)

If you have a sizable potential audience on Facebook, you should consider Facebook ads. They’re a great way to reach a targeted group of interested people.

Facebook ads can be tailored to just about any budget. You’ll probably want to start small and then increase your ad buys over time based on which types of ads have shown to be successful.

Ten dollars a day is a good starting point. Keep your ads between ten and fifteen cents a click. For most campaigns, you’ll want to limit your buys to 20 cents a click.

Every few weeks, you’ll want to evaluate your return on investment. This strategy lets you avoid spending money on ads which aren’t connecting and focusing on the types of ads which are.

10. Use the Power of Social Proof

People don’t necessarily trust brands. What they do trust is other people. This is the power of Social Proof.

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This is where positive engagement can really pay off. If you successfully solve a problem or otherwise connect with a customer online, everyone connected to that person on social media can also watch the exchange. This positive brand awareness can ripple through social media and reach countless new potential customers.

Testimonials are another way to harness the power of social proof. When real people sing the praises of your product or service in a real-world situation, other people will take notice. Turn compliments posted to your social media pages into testimonials for your website.

Bonus Tip! The Power of Indirect Benefits

You’re not going to directly sell many products through social media. But that’s perfectly okay. Social media is designed to help with conversions, not directly create sales.

By developing a robust, active social media presence, you’re helping create two benefits:

First, you’re helping to connect with potential customers by creating brand awareness, increasing brand trustworthiness, and developing a brand “personality.”

Next, you’re also helping to increase your ranking in the search results. Major search engines, including Google, favor pages which have a lot of shares. In fact, shares are considered links. If you can get a lot of people sharing, liking, and otherwise engaging with your content through social media, you’re helping improve your SERP.

Devoting time to your brand’s social media accounts is an important part of every successful website.

Have any tips? Share them here!

Featured photo credit: Pic Jumbo via picjumbo.com

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Published on June 5, 2018

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance . Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to make it happen for a more fulfilling life.

Signs that you need a career change

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Why a career change is good for you

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

Common mistakes of people making a career change

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. What is your situation?

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  • Desire for an increase of salary: The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time. At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.
  • Overnight decision: Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.
  • Rejected for a promotion: I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.
  • Bored at work: Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization. Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Now that you had a chance to review your work situation and none of these recommendations can help, it is time to take the next step.

How to make the change for a successful career (Step-by-step)

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a career plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh your options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job, in the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be real about the pros and cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are impacting the current situation.

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A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

4. Find a mentor

A mentor that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

  • What is required to be successful in the role?
  • What certification or educational development is needed?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • Is there potential for career advancement?

A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: A Good Mentor Is Hard to Find: What to Look for in a Mentor

5. Research salary

Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

6. Be realistic

If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

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Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

7. Volunteer first

A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

8. Prepare your career tools

I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

  • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
  • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.

Final thoughts

It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will discover the role that is the best fit with your skillsets.

Master these action steps and changing careers will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1]Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
[2]MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan

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