As a Relationship Marketing Specialist, Speaker and Coach, I speak to lots of people about the use of social media and Internet marketing. Of course, one of the obvious questions I often get is; “How do I get more Fans, followers and qualified leads?”. There are many tools, strategies and methodologies to improve your online marketing results but inevitably, the discussion has to come around to mechanics. Even if you are making good connections, putting out relevant content, and engaging with your audience you may not be getting the best results you could. Huh? Why not? Aren’t these the very activities we are told time and again yield better online marketing results? Yes Indeed, but, without attention to the mechanics, your efforts simply aren’t maximized.
What does that mean? Posting at the best time? Using photos and infographics to increase engagement? Asking questions? Yes to all, but, the most basic and important mechanics anyone hoping to leverage online marketing MUST use is keyword research and Search Engine Optimization.
Now before you get all whiny about it, let’s just discuss why keyword research and SEO are so important. Without good utilization of the best keywords lots of your efforts are being wasted. Yes, yes, I know, you know what your keywords are, don’t you? Let’s assume for the moment that you Do actually know what your keywords are. The next question is are you utilizing them correctly?
Think about this; Nothing and I mean NOTHING happens on the internet that is not organized around the written word. The internet is based on the written word and every word you put out there is categorized, indexed and complied. Even without thinking about it, you are always interfacing with search. Every single time. Every single word.
Now lots of folks think of SEO as some mumbo jumbo used by high pressure squeeze page marketers and certainly these people well utilize SEO. Since however, every single word entered on a social platform, blog or public website is, as I said, categorized, indexed and compiled, unless you are utilizing the best keywords for your business, in the proper way, your interaction can be a lot like a dud firecracker. You light it and run, waiting for the report but none comes-because it didn’t have the right firepower.
As for keyword research, many businesses think they know and are using the best keywords for their market. Maybe but unless you have done keyword research, that is not a given. If you are a mechanic for example, “auto repair” seems to be an obvious keyword. It may be but unless you understand the queries and competition on that keyword, you really can’t know that. If you are one among 200 local auto repair shops, competition is high for that keyword. Perhaps you are a local retailer with little competition that also sells online. You probably need two different campaigns. One for local search and one for internet search. Those two markets may call for different keywords. Here is where the best SEO practices come in. Just because a keyword well suits your business does not mean it is the best keyword for your business. For example, it is very hard to rank for the keyword “used car” but it is infinitely more possible to rank for “pre-owned luxury vehicles”. While you may get less traffic in general, the traffic you get will be much more qualified.
So, you say you are not interested in search results because social is driving your business. Guess what, today, Facebook is the most trafficked site on the web. Or, have you noticed that Google Plus results are some of the top search results you may be getting. Yup, social is in there and it is important. Of course none of us know the super secret algorithms used by Google. What we do know is this, every word entered in public on the web is categorized, indexed and complied so why not make them count?
Now you don’t have to be an internet marketing ninja or spammer or geek to best utilize keyword research and SEO. Some simple research and analysis of relevant keywords along with a plan consistently applied will improve your results. Period. You will grow to love your written words as they increase your engagement. If in doubt about your ability or understanding of good keyword research and SEO, seek a professional’s help.