A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

What SEO Experts Need to Know About Social Media

May 14th, 2009

The blog post below was written by my colleague Jason Keath.  Jason is a Social Media Consultant and overall smart guy.  I think you’ll enjoy his comments below, particularly targeted at marketers that understand SEO already.

You can read my post about “What Social Media Experts Need to Know about SEO” on his blog.

Take it away, Jason…

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Thanks to Corey for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

SEO and Social Media are becoming fast friends. I am a firm believer that SEO is of greater importance to most companies doing business online. That picture is changing, but SEO is not going anywhere. But neither is Social Media. Both industries need to begin thinking more like the other. I think there are some basic mindsets in Social Media that could benefit any SEO campaign. They all revolve around one main concept, how to engage the customer once they find you online

From Keyword Rich to Rich Content
There are a few blog tools out there built around driving keyword rich blog landing pages. These are very cool products and can be effective if used correctly, but can easily assign a factory role to your content, churning out keywords and mess. There is a ceiling on the effectiveness of these strategies and they will never grow community or word of mouth. At the end of the day SEO should be a step toward getting a new customer, not just getting them to the site. Driving targeted traffic is only the first step. Produce content that looks beyond getting them to the page and focuses on keeping them there.

Think Discussion Not Content
Yes, content is king. Yes, you should offer value and solid information and lots of it. But beyond that, what you really want is discussion. What is the difference? I could love every little piece of video, blog post, game, and photo you post. It may even make me return to your site. But wouldn’t you also like to get me talking? If I comment, forward to a friend, tweet, complain even, I am putting effort towards your content. I am a contributor. I am a champion. I am growing your audience for you.

To find what drives discussion within your niche, search sites like Digg.com, YouTube.com, and StumbleUpon.com for the top posts with your keywords. Also dig into top blogs for your niche to see which kind of posts have the most comments.

Don’t Own the Audience, Let the Audience Own You
Building community is a great goal, but can be abstract. When working on SEO, try to offer opportunities for the user to work for you. Building link bait is the basic premise here, but it is more than that. I can throw something on my blog to link to your site and it will help you, but will most likely just sit there, passively, waiting to be irrelevant. Drive the user to contribute. Let them create your next blog post, design your next product or event, assign them tasks, interview them. Give them ownership in your marketing and the search results with blossom.

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Jason Keath is a Social Media Consultant who thrives on connecting people. He is the lead organizer of Social Fresh, a hip Social Media Conference for the Southeast.

PS:  Thanks Jason!  Well said.