Getting Attention from Search Engines
Back in the 90s and the first decade of the 21st century, whole websites were delivered unto the web to stand alone, without being shared, commented on, tweeted, or pinned. They were simply read, possibly bookmarked, probably forgotten, as the world’s first tentative wave of web surfers pounded the shoreline of search listing pages Yahoo, and later on Google, might throw up for a keyword.
Then, as is still the case today, only the first three pages of search engine listings matter. If the website you’d slaved over was found on page four, it’s chances of being visited were zero to none.
Many sites shared links with other unfortunates, acquiring at least some search engine recognition. Others simply died alone on page 104, unlinked and unloved.
Most digital marketing strategies focused on placing their websites high up in search engine page rankings to generate traffic: page 2 was good, page 1 better. The problem was, for any website to rank high, it needed high traffic in the first place, especially if it had been optimized for the more common keyword phrases.
How Social Media Has Changed Everything
Social media networking has transformed the Internet, with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ helping to determine the relevance of web pages, websites, and blog posts. In a sense, social media networking has brought democracy to the Internet. Search engines have revised how they rank web pages, favoring those websites with content their visitors prefer to read, share, and comment on. Today it’s well-written, informative and entertaining content that drives website traffic, not a random tinkering with keywords, or back linking.
Digital marketing agencies have not been slow to catch on. They have evolved to capture this new trend, recognizing the relevance of social media channels, which for many have become the prime generators of traffic to their websites.
Here are five reasons why buddying up to social media will boost your website traffic:
1. It’s Free Traffic
It doesn’t cost a thing to sign up to any of these social media sites. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, they all operate under the same basic principle:
(i) Engage as many visitors as quickly as possible to bulk up on registered user volume;
(ii) Work out how to make money afterward, perhaps by selling advertising space or promoting affiliates.
This means not only is it free to register your website on these social media networks, but the traffic they generate is also free. You can’t lose! So you’d be foolish not to promote your content on at least some of the most popular of these social media sites.
2. Engage and Cultivate Even More Free Traffic
Start by displaying your photo and company logo. Increase your influence by cultivating new followers. Actively engage with your followers. Chat with them, share relevant links, give out freebies; answer any questions they might have about your products, services or any information on your website.
The greater the number of engaged followers you can build, the more visible your site will become, in turn generating extra traffic and ensuring your next marketing campaign is even more successful.
Develop a blog that speaks to your potential customer, and each time you have a new blog post, make sure you share it on social media. Invite comments, engage with these comments, and encourage your followers to repost and retweet!
3. Your Google Rankings Will Rise
Recent statistics show a high correlation between those successful on social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ also have much success in Google visibility. Google by far is still the best search engine to rank high on, so this is excellent news. For Facebook, for example, a large number of shares, likes, and comments all seem to correlate positively with high rankings in Google, even though it is unlikely to share counts are directly factored into Google’s algorithm.
4. You’ll Get Indexed Faster
Search engine bots regularly crawl the web, indexing pages and ranking websites according to the relevance and popularity of the content it finds. The more content bots find that meet these criteria, the higher your website will rank. Fresh content posted on social media networks gets crawled and indexed much faster than just adding a new page to your website, so your website will benefit from its higher page rankings, and far sooner when you share your content on social media.
5. Your Create a Better Relationship with Customers
Nurture your social media followers before you hook them with a sale. Best-selling author, Gary Vaynerchuck, has used boxing as a very successful metaphor in his book entitled, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. The premise is simple, but the results are a knockout. Mainly Gary teaches us to jab, jab, jab with our followers, nurturing them, indulging them, engaging with them, before delivering that powerful right hook which nets the sale. Jab, jab, jab, hook. Again, again, and again; that’s the power of developing long-term relationships with your social media followers.
Nowadays, it’s no longer viable to avoid advertising on social media if you want your website to feature high in the search engine rankings, drive hordes of traffic to your website, and generate lots of sales revenue.
Google’s bots certainly love social media, literally whizzing around the more popular sites, devouring HTML like it was candy. When you consider that ranking your website high is essentially an ongoing race between you and your competitors, it’s crucial you get your content crawled faster than anyone else, and that you keep supplying a fresh stream of indexable content to your social media pages.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc are the consumer coliseums of today, each housing millions of potential consumers, many of whom if engaged and nurtured in the right way can evolve to become your best long-term customers, driving your sales and helping to make your online business a phenomenal success.
And the best thing of all is this traffic is free. So, what’s your excuse for not tweeting about your business today? Start driving free traffic through social media – you won’t regret it.
This article is by guest author Chris Hornak, who has been developing digital marketing campaigns for over a decade. He is the CEO and Owner of Blog Hands a service that helps businesses and agencies develop content to tell their story. In his spare time, he loves to play video games and spend time with his friends and family. You can find Blog Hands on Twitter or Facebook.