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Convergence of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Word of Mouth (WOM), Content Marketing, Social Media = Opportunity

Krista Neher

Krista Neher of Boot Camp Digital welcomes participants to the first SIMEngage conference in Cincinnati. Krista and others helped us better understand the convergence of earned, owned and paid media.

After hearing Jason Falls‘ opening keynote talk at the SIMEngage (Social + Internet Marketing) conference May 15 at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati, I remarked to a colleague that I had already gotten my money’s worth.

Falls, a true social media marketing pioneer, spoke about the convergence of PR, Content Marketing and Social Media, with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Word of Mouth (WOM) in the middle — and the tremendous opportunity this presents for organizations to achieve their strategic goals.

He started with a quick explanation of SEO, and how Google crawls pages searching for keywords.  The most relevant content comes up first, based on 200-some factors. Moving up in search rankings is our role, helping boost rankings in search engines. An old goal with SEO was getting more inbound links to your website, using tactics such as online press releases with links. This still helps, but two years ago Google changed the ranking system.

SEO has become an earned media approach. You need to provide content that people care about. Become a thought leader. Create great, unique content that resonates with your audience. Share content in social media. Promote it.

Falls pointed out that social media ranks high in searches. Social profiles appear on front page of Google and Bing results. Social media directly impacts how websites rank, according to Google. Google+ might be relevant only for that reason.

You have about seven seconds to win a customer. You must figure out your moments of truth. What are your audience members asking when they are getting ready to buy? When are they making decisions? What are they asking? When can you provide relevant content and engage them?

This is important because Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is 62% more effective than an ad! And media coverage, paid, etc. boost SEO and WOM. Gets people talking about you online and offline.

“Search cannot exist in a vacuum” Falls said. “PR, search and social must be integrated for you to succeed.”

What does it take to develop earned content that will drive your SEO? Creative content. A great user experience. Relationships and storytelling. A dash of technical geekery.

“Content is the currency for building social relationships that boost earned media,” Falls said, adding these nuggets:

  • What is great content — Original (from you), Simple, Valuable and Useful, Entertains, Emotional (laugh, cry). Above all the content must be relevant to your audience.
  • Key considerations — Who is the audience you need to reach? Why will they care about you? What are you doing to earn their interest? What incentive do they have to share?
  • Finding topics — Ask your sales team, Mine the buying cycle, Q/A sites like QuoraYahooAnswers, mine social media, follow industry and peers.
  • Next: Answer questions with blog post, video… American Express Business Forum is a good example. Others: H&R Block and the American Moustache Institute to lobby Congress for $250 tax credit. The Stache Act.  Million Moustache March, etc. Make  your profile. Point: Got H&R block in conversation for men 24-30, and it worked.

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips

June 5, 2010 4 comments

It’s no secret that Google has revolutionized the way we use the Internet.

Very rarely do people type in a URL any more when accessing information on the Web. Also, it’s becoming less and less common for people to go to a home page to access info. Google takes them directly to the page containing the details they desire. I never dreamt I’d be speaking search terms into a Droid, which would then show me links to text, photos and video on the topic. I don’t even need to type in the terms!

With this revolution has come the practice of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s a way to get your web page, blog post, video clip, podcast and/or photo at the top of the listings when somebody Googles a term or keyword associated with it.

Rob Bunting, “czar” of the Cincinnati I-marketing Group, gave a friendly and informative overview about SEO at the May 24 Cincinnati Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) luncheon. Here is a video clip.

I tweeted from the event. You can check out my Twitter stream from May 24 at @MikeBoehmer57. Here are some tips that Rob shared:

  • Think about the terms you are going to target, do keyword research if necessary
  • Include search terms you want to come up for in a search engine in your content, especially:
  • The page title (the title tag for the web page), keep to less than 72 characters
  • The title/headline of press releases, blog posts, videos or other social media
  • The META description tag: a 1-2 sentence summary of less than 170 characters
  • In the rest of the text of your web page, release, etc.
  • Tags field of blog posts, YouTube videos
  • The names of pages, URLs (with words separated by dashes)
  • ALT tags of images and file names of images (keyword.jpg)

He recommended that you “cross-link your website content, social sites using keywords in those links (“anchor text”) if possible.” Also: “Include links to related external sites, such as publications cited in a press release” and “try to get inbound links to your content–one way to do that is by commenting on other blogs.”

Rob listed these online SEO resources:

A big thanks to Rob for sharing this great info. Please feel free to share any tips you might have in the comments.