A compelling online presence is pretty important for professionals wanting to stand out from their competitors. How do you do it? Well, some might say blogging, social media and good content are the best things since sliced bread when it comes to cutting through industry noise and elevating your brand. For sales people spending huge chunks of time prospecting on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, a strong online presence will add weight to your approach.
But what about when you aren’t the one making the first move? How searchable are you when a potential customer / candidate / client proactively looks up the service you provide, in search of someone to help them?
A good place to start is up-skilling yourself with SEO and social media best practice. I’ve spoken with Jo Turnbull, blogger extraordinaire and organiser of the Search London event, to get some expert insights on how to make sure they are working together, and giving you the best shot at being found online.
You can listen to the full interview or scroll down to read a few take-aways below. And be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast and never miss an episode.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And it’s basically making sure that your site is done in the best way possible to ensure you gain as much visibility and, obviously, traffic as possible. I like to call it the Simple Easy Option, something that people should be thinking about even before they’ve actually set up their website and built it. Search Engine Land defines SEO as the natural process of getting traffic from the organic or natural search results on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
I think in the past it used to be about keywords, I don’t think it was about keywords, and improving your ranking position. Obviously, that was just for specific keywords but now we have universal search. So you can appear in image search, video search. You can also appear in direct answer. You can also appear with doing recipes, you can appear in rich snippets markup. So now it’s not just about exactly ranking. It’s just overall visibility, and obviously, trying to get as much traffic as possible. And obviously as an e-Commerce site, to try and convert that traffic.
How can social media and SEO work together?
I think really, just to take a step back, I really think it is important that social media and SEO work together. Because basically they help build your brand. So, for example, looking at SEO, you need to make sure that your website is built in the best possible way so that you can have the highest visibility as possible, you don’t have any technical errors wrong with your website. You’ve actually got a website, let’s say. And then also you have social media to help sort of boost that, boost the awareness. You can run, if you want, social campaigns through that. Some are paid, some are just promoting a blog post on your actual website. And when I say promoting, you don’t have to always pay for that. If you have big enough community, you can be just posting that on your wall.
What SEO tools work well with social media?
I’ve been in the industry for a number of years, so there’s so many that I would recommend. Currently I’m working at Searchmetrics, I really like their platform. Basically, they have a research facility and they have the projects section. So the Research Cloud, you can find out what competitors are doing and then you can put those competitors into your project and then follow them against keywords. You can see what keywords they’re ranking for, what they’re not ranking for, or what they’re ranking for and you’re not. So you have gap analysis, you can find out how the content’s doing, you can see what they’re doing in terms of social media. I’ve also used Majestic. Majestic is really good for, especially, for analyzing links. I had to do quite a few link removals a couple of years ago and that really helped me a lot.
I’ve used SimilarWeb as well before, just to see or review how the market’s doing. That’s quite good. Hitwise, I have used as well. They are very interesting, you can get quite a lot of detail from Hitwise. Their support is very good. You just need to, obviously, try and put the filters on. So those are just some of the ones that I would recommend. You just need to, basically, have the time and resources to dedicate your time or your team’s time to using these and to be able to get the most out of these platforms.