Search and social media offer you great local marketing opportunities for branding and lead generation if you understand the new search paradigm and strategize accordingly. The leading search engines, namely Google and Bing, are now aggregating information from a variety of online sources to help determine the indexing and ranking of web pages not only for local search but for all search.
Chief among these sources are quality social media sites, which are platforms where real people talk about their knowledge of and experiences with products, services, companies, and people. The idea is that information that comes “straight from the horse’s mouth” is reliable and hence relevant to others searching for the same things. Not only is this information being used as criteria for ranking but it is also appearing in the search results.
By aligning your search engine optimization initiatives with your social media initiatives you are setting the stage for building your authority online for the terms that correspond to the content you present, namely information about who you are and what you offer. For example, if you a recruiter for top executives, you want to establish your online authority for the principle terms that clearly identify you with that service as well as correspond to the terms used by your target audience groups to search for what you offer. (Good “old fashioned” keyword research is key here)
If you have been following this series you will begin to see that the connecting threads that weave your online ‘identity’ and ‘authority’ fabric are keywords. All of the highly focused content that you develop and present on your website and all social media platforms must contain the keywords you have carefully selected from your comprehensive research and analysis. These keywords must accurately reflect
a) the content you present and
b) the language used by your targeted audience groups to search for what you offer.
The idea, as I will continue to state throughout this series, is to establish and maintain consistency across the internet so you are easily and accurately identified. The way in which to build your authority is to continue to develop and present highly focused content that speaks to the current interests of your targeted audiences. That means you have to produce new and engaging content on a regular basis. The best strategy is to develop a schedule of delivery that you are willing and able to stick to.
The formula for developing your audience – acquiring Facebook ‘Friends,’ Twitter ‘Followers,’ or blog subscribers, for example – is to present content at least once a week, but preferably twice a week or more depending on the platform and your strategy, that capitalizes on known trends and popular topics among your targeted groups. This content should invite comments, questions, or even shared experiences. In other words, you don’t want to speak at your audience you want to speak with them. Better yet, give them the opportunity to speak to you!
Bottom line – align your search and social media efforts. Ensure that the right hand is working together with the left to create and deliver topical content that contains the keywords and phrases for which you want to be a recognized authority.
In Part 5 of the Local Marketing Online series I will talk about City Sites, Reviews & Recommendations and how they can help to boost your online authority and rankings.
Read the Series:
Local Marketing Online: Part 1: Intro
Local Marketing Online: Part 2: Web & Map Listings
Local Marketing Online: Part 3: Google Place
Local Marketing Online: Part 4: Search & Social Media
Local Marketing Online: Part 5: City Sites, Reviews & Recommendations
Local Marketing Online: Part 6: Share Content
Local Marketing Online: Part 7: Email Marketing
Local Marketing Online: Part 8: Pay Per Click Integration
Local Marketing Online: Part 9: Mobile Marketing
Local Marketing Online: Part 10: Optimized Web Design