Improve Conversions with SEO and Social Media Cocktail

The Clients and Brands I work with usually have a fixed annual budget for Internet Marketing and a mandate to achieve incremental positive ROI.

Internet Marketing ROI is a function of Traffic, Leads, Sales and Brand Buzz. For sometime ( in 2008-2009) I tried cross-selling and up-selling SEO and Social Media Marketing (SMM) to my clients for additional fee; however, more often than not, it did not work. Business owners and Marketing Managers had one simple answer “ here’s the budget, use it the way you want, get me 50%??? over last years.

It did not take me long to figure out the trick was in blending the SEO and Social Media Marketing to get the maximum Bang for Buck. Here’s the 5 step SEO and Social Media Strategy that I have seen delivering maximum value to my client’s outbound and inbound Internet Marketing Programs.

 

#1. Website Usability Analysis

Is your website a space occupier on your business card? A digital brochure? Or is it a Brand Ambassador and a Sales Force?

Successful online campaigns start with websites designed for the target audience with visitor touch points and action callouts. Analyze the server logs to identify visitor click patterns and make changes to the website architecture to engage your visitors. Critical parameters to analyze includes Entry Page, Exit Page, Click Stream, Page Drop Rate, Referring websites and Keywords.

– It is advisable to add short contact forms on all pages and link to contact form in the site-wide footer.

– Test the forms regularly to ensure it works fine.

#2. Optimize your website, put together a Link and Outreach Program

Identify the key phrases that are most relevant for your business and have sufficient search volume . If you are a local business include geo targeted key phrases in  your key phrase bucket. You may want to optimize for Brands and models, if you are a retailer.
Include Key phrases in the website’s content, page titles, metatags, and other elements.

Develop  a Link strategy that’s clean and viral. Add Link baits and give other websites a reason to link to you. Avoid direct link solicitation.

#3. Social 101: Thought Leadership Blogs

Thought leadership blogs and absolute must if you want to create a buzz and grow your Brand. Create Blogs in your key product domains or service areas. Motivate the experts in your company to blog in their areas of expertise. Setup an editorial team and protocols. The digital assets you create on your blog will go a long way in establishing your leadership in the industry which will encourage repeat visits and new business. Target to establish your blog as one of the top go to destinations for information on your industry.  Here are some ideas on Blog posts:
o Industry news and trend analysis

o Opinions, critique and whitepapers

o How-to guides

o Interviews, Profiles and Reports.

#4. Social- Deep Dive

 

Leverage the reach of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with your customers and Industry. Build consistent brand personality across social platforms. Use consistent branding, communication guidelines and visual layout across the social websites.

Encourage your employees and customers to join your social network. Incentivize feedback. Participate in discussions, conduct polls.

#5. Observe, Measure and Tweak

 

Setting up the website and outreach program is just the beginning. Success comes for observing the trend, measuring the impact and tweaking the program.

Set up monitoring and tracking for top key phrases you are targeting. The would include:

  1. Brands
  2. Competition
  3. Key Personnel
  4. Negative buzz like “ Brand + Sucks???

Establish response mechanism and protocol for positive and negative buzz on the Internet.

Evaluate and Key Phrases and Social Platform’s performance. Unique Visits, Referring website, Click Path and Conversion Rate are few important parameters to evaluate platforms on. Tweak you strategy/ tactic based on intelligence from analytics.

Of Swine Flu & Swine Flew

Should you optimize for misspellings ?

I find analyzing Search Intent and Search Queries  very intriguing. Answer to the question why people search they way they do presents low hanging opportunities to marketers. While Brand key Phrases, Generic Search Terms get bulk of the Organic traffic to websites, alternate Keyword Strategy adds the punch to the Optimization Program.

One such alternate keyword strategy is Optimizing  for Misspellings. Marketers have used misspelled words in their programs and Search Engine Crawlers and algorithms are growing increasingly sensitive to Misspellings.

I feel there is a definite case for including misspellings in the Optimization Program.

One of the most searched term in the last 6 months is ‘swine flu’- a pandemic that threatens every country on the planet, its variations and misspellings. Here’s my 2 cents on Search Engines, SEO and Swine Flew/ Swine Flu.

Until March 2009, ‘swine flu’ and ‘swine flew’ were equally searched for terms on the Internet. In the 4th week of April search for  ‘swine flu’ took off.

Swine Flu Search Peaks in 2009 April
Swine Flu Search Peaks in 2009 April

However,   ‘Swine Flew’ still had currency ( in native English and not in call centre countries)

Global Swine Flew Searches
Global Swine Flew Searches

Meanwhile Google raked in the moolah with average CPC  of  $3 for ‘swine flew’ related searches.

Swine Flu CPC
Swine Flu CPC

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End Note:  Search Engine Algorithms are driven  by commercial interest. (period)

Google: Michael Jackson misspelling e.g. michle jacksin

Michael- Jackson Misspelling search
Michael- Jackson Misspelling search

There goes the intelligent Web 2.0 with spelling suggestions..

now Google ‘Swine Flew’

Swine Flew Google no suggestion
Swine Flew Google no suggestion

No spelling suggestions…Back to the dumb web 0.0??

I Rest my Case..