Search engine optimizationexperts, and even Google itself, are constantly reminding website owners that content is king. Unfortunately, this phrase has been twisted in its interpretation and many business owners now think that all you need to do is add content to rank well in search engines. But is adding high quality content really enough? The simple answer is, no, because content — even great content without an audience is worthless to you.
You need people to find your website before they can read it, otherwise your content is of little value to you and your business — it is like an unread book sitting on a shelf collecting dust. Google will not automatically place you at the top of the heap just because you add content, and, even if you are doing great in search engine results, if you are not social networking new and existing content, you are missing out on some great opportunities to connect with others, promote your business, and get more leads.
Google Reads Your Content, Tries To Understand It, And Does Not Automatically Value Content Simply Because It Is On Your Website Google, Bing, and Yahoo! all recommend social networking and place higher value content that is shared via links and across social networks more than it values great content that no one is reading or sharing. It is important to understand that, when Google judges your content it factors in how it perceives other people judge your content.
Public opinion counts in the form of links and social mentions and shares that indirectly cast social votes on the importance of your website. The more times someone chooses your website in a search over another site also counts, and the reverse is true — when your website is passed over and not click on in search engine results Google, in particular, takes note. Without a strong social push your site will never perform at its best.
How do people find your website in the first place? Search engine queries, links from other sites, social media mentions, advertising campaign referral all work to build your brand by helping people find you in multiple places. Even if you are in a business where people are less likely to find you or use your services from social mentions, know that Google values social branding and it may push you higher in Google where people are searching.
If people can find you via social mentions more easily than in search queries, why would you not take full advantage of social media marketing to boost your search engine presence as well?
How do search engines rank your website? Each search engine uses its own algorithm, but all major search engines now factor in social mentions in one way or another. Boost your social presence and you boost your website’s credibility, branding, and value to search engines. Popular, well-ranked sites show up higher and more often in search queries.
Your social contacts are already interested in you. People who see a link in a tweet or Facebook post are more likely to click through on it than they are if they see your site listed among 10 others on a results page. Why? A search engine that suggests a site is not the same thing as a human referral. A social mention is more like a personal recommendation; a suggestion or thumbs up from an actual human and not algorithms.
Also, in searches people must make decisions about which option to choose from. If someone sees your link in a post they are reading, they are already interested in you or your topic, and someone else has already made the decision for them — a Facebook link says \»pick me, and me only.” Search engine results pages offer 10-30 choices, including ads, and you hope your site link won’t be the last one picked for basketball.
You get better, real-time exposure with social networks than you do with Google, or any other search engine. You write content, you wait for Google to find it, index it, and hope your page will show up in searches. If you are good at optimization, that wait may only be a few days, but you also need to wait until someone searches for keywords that can be matched with your page. If no one ever searches those keywords, or, your website is not well established, your great articles or breaking news might never end up in a search results list for anyone to even consider clicking through to.
As soon as you add new content to your website, tweet it out, post a status update onFacebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. and you will have instant exposure with people who are already interested in your business. Effective social networking encourages people to favorite, share, retweet, +1, and personally recommend you to their own groupies and followers.
Search engines alone simply cannot offer you the same exposure and validation that comes from a personal recommendation from another person or endorsement from another business.
Social Networking Can Replace The Need For Pay-Per-Click Ads. If you are using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads try using social networking instead — its free (if you do it yourself) and you will get better results and more leads from social referrals than from ad services.
Before you start spending big bucks on PPC ads, or increasing your monthly PPC budget to gain more leads, I suggest upping your social networking game and comparing results to PPC campaigns. You will likely find that social networking may take a little more time because you need to \»work it\» every day, but in the long run it is significantly more affordable and does something the PPC cannot do — talk with people and build relationships beyond a single click.