My, what a complicated web we weave on the Internet. Remember the days when SEO was the Golden Rule, when freelance marketing writers could stack their deck with clever keywords? Well, now that we’ve got things like Google+, Stumble Upon, Digg and Delicious that encourage social engagement, search engine ranking has gone and gotten all complicated on us. The Google algorithm is taking this social storm into account for how rankings are made for search engines. So, how is social engagement redefining SEO as we know it?
Let’s start with this newcomer on the social scene. Google+ is the equivalent of Facebook for Google. Plus, everyone knows that Google is the sultan of search. In the good ol’ days, Google encouraged the use of SEO through keywords, backlinks, anchor text and the like to make ranking websites easier for everyone. Now, Google is changing its tune by incorporating social engagement in website rankings. Freelance marketing writers—this is your wake up call. Web users are depending more on reviews, recommendations, and sharing than ever before. The search engine text field just isn’t seeing as much action anymore. Social engagement, as a result, is becoming as important as SEO in determining the popularity and relevancy of a webpage.
Another current trend in social engagement is branding, which is referred to as co-occurrence. Branding is similar to backlinking, but with a delightful twist. Rather than paying a site, which is illegal by the way, to link to your site in backlinking for SEO purposes, branding depends on the love of others. In order to promote your site, you have to provide quality content that others not only want to read, but that they want to share. The more often your content is referenced on other websites, the greater your brand grows. Branding is being used by Google for determining the rankings of websites—all without taking any stock in SEO practices.
Tips for Effective Social Engagement
So how do you work with social engagement so to benefit your website?
- Set up a social media profile with all possible programs including Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Don’t dilly dally. Work those sites daily to promote your website and get it into the social loop.
- Say goodbye to stale or limp web content. Hire a freelance writer if you need to so you can get quality content on your site. Link up with the big dawgs in your business by referencing their work. Include expert interviews as part of your web content social strategy.
- Get to blogging. Blogs are to websites what social engagement is to SEO. Post daily and do your research to scope out the most popular topics on social media reports.
As you share, tweet, like and digg through web sites, take heed in the amount of engagement you are doing. Given the number of sites dedicated to social media, it was only a matter of time before this data was used to determine website worth. While social engagement is not replacing SEO, it is becoming the new way to determine the most useful and relevant websites. Keep this in mind as you write web content or publish it on your website. By incorporating social engagement along with SEO techniques, you stand a better chance of pushing your website to the front of the pack.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.