When ever I talk to brands about leveraging social media (sounds cliché eh?) for SEO, people have this “Oh no! Not again…” look on their faces.
“We’ve tried it. Never worked!” – quips one.
And they’re right. But they were mis-informed probably, that they left it soon.
Here’s the thing. Gone are those days, where you could sell things off quickly on the internet. You can do it, but its going to be a balancing act between reputation and money.
So, you have an amazing product, but nobody knows about it. You create a website, and online strategy, and pump in money. One year down the line, you finally managed to get some business. You look at the conversion ratio and its below what you expected. Way below.
You decide that none of this makes sense and stick to SEM. Give Google the money, advertise your product and assume that it will scale off. It won’t. Your SEM budgets are cut down and you’re frustrated again. Now you regret for not continuing your SEO efforts.
This is a typical failure cycle many online brands go through.
The crux of the fact is that, though SEO is a long term process, its accumulative. If you stick to it for the right amount of time, which depends on how good your competition is, the benefits always grow exponentially. Double the traffic the first year, four time the next year and so on.
Many people, tend to leave it soon in the first few years unfortunately.
Search engines like Google these days, give a lot of importance to trust. They monitor how people behave on your website. How do people find you on Google, and are they happy for what they’ve found. Or are they disappointed?
There are several factors search engines use these days to measure the above mentioned metrics. And they track it with time. If your organic traffic is going through the goal path and this pattern increases over a period of time, it means that there is a good possibility of increased trust factor to your site and the product. And Google obviously would have your competition’s pattern data as well, so in case they want to compare you guys both, they can. Although I’m inclined to believe that they wouldn’t unless its auto triggered. Like websites that fall under the same category and such.
Anyhow, the point I’m trying to make is that social media efforts can help you a lot in SEO in the long run. Social signals like Google + data give a hell lot of information to Google about your user type, their preference and usage patterns.
For instance, let’s say you have a website selling “laptop chips”, and your user base is essentially young folks who frequent to tech websites, it’s a pattern that says that your website caters to the tech savvy folks. If your site had been a site selling “potato chips”, your visitors are most likely foodies or kids or women (I dunno, just taking some wild guesses here). So next time, when a kid or a woman who had been to snacks related websites, searches for “Chips” she/he would be shown sites that sell potato chips rather than laptop chips. You get the point?
So, with social media signals, its extremely important for webmasters to create their own unique user base, that will help get them better converting targeted traffic in the long run.
Quit measuring ROI based on conversions like on SEM. SEM is a waste of money, keep pumping it until you can afford it. But meanwhile, if you don’t invest in social media and SEO, you’re in for a big surprise later.