In part one of this article, I covered some of the factors that are critical to your search engine marketing success. In today's blog post, I'll cover the rest, including the role social media plays in search engine rankings.
The Emerging Role of Social Media’s Impact on Search Engine Rankings
According to the latest research by StrongMail, 57% of businesses plan to increase their spending in Social Media in 2011, second only to Email marketing (65%) and ahead of Search Marketing (41%).
One of the reasons for the increase in Social Media spending is the growing and significantly positive impact it has on search engine marketing results.
The key components of Social Media that impact search rankings are blogs, social bookmarking, online press releases, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These Social Media components significantly impact your search rankings through the following factors:
- Relevant information
- Frequent content updates on your website
- Increased volume of relevant and high-quality incoming links
Additional Benefits of These Social Media Components if Implemented Well are:
- Establishes you as an expert within your industry
- Generates traffic to your website as the result of social bookmarking where your content is published on other websites that drives incoming links to your website
- Improves your online image
- Develops an online community that will interact more with your website and your company
- Builds an email list for remarketing and follow-up communications
All of these key components must be a very active part of your Internet marketing strategy and almost daily operations. The blog needs to be an integral and internal part of your website. It will not be as effective for your website rankings if the blog is external to your website.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter icons should not only be a part of your website, but their postings should be a part of your web page content for website visitors to view. Blogging, posting, tweeting and social bookmarking needs to be conducted effectively throughout the week in order to achieve any meaningful success in not only search engine rankings, but growing your online community.
Key Challenges of Effective Social Media
There are key challenges in effectively implementing a social media marketing program for businesses of all sizes and industries.
The number one challenge or barrier to success is the time and resources (primarily human capital) to be invested. The challenge for time and resources is further defined as:
- Allocating existing human resources to an emerging but complex online marketing program.
- Training and equipping personnel so that they can be effective in managing the variety of platforms and appropriate communications styles and then integrating them with other Internet marketing initiatives such as search and email marketing.
- Staying abreast of the latest trends and tactics that are effective in generating measurable results.
- Gaining results quickly to maintain executive commitment and gain a foothold in your industry before your company is relegated to the online sidelines, maybe indefinitely.
The Time is Now
There is a sense of urgency in this area. It is likely that if businesses do not implement and manage an effective social media program now, they will not be able to catch up later in the search engine rankings or in developing a leading online community for your target market. Search and Social Media marketing are critical for online business success. Don’t wait or it may be too late.