SEO Archives | Social Pop Creative
Social Pop Creative is a boutique digital marketing for small to medium sized business. Social Pop is a one-stop-shop for custom branding packages, graphic design, web design, content strategy, paid marketing tactics, SEO, and social media management.
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We talk a lot about SEO and SMO over here at Social Pop Creative, and we often times combine the two suggesting that they go hand in hand. But, what is the difference between the two and when is either appropriate? To super summarize, SMO is a part of SEO. Both contribute to how people find your business online which is why we place so much emphasis on having an SMO strategy that works alongside your SEO and content makreting efforts.

What is Social Media Optimization?

Social media optimization is the act of optimizing your social media pages to yield better search results within social and web search engines. With the growing emphasis on social media for businesses, strategic page creation and optimization can assist any business in increasing visibility and expanding customer reach. Social media optimization requires strategic planning and different tactics on each social network.

What Social Optimization is not

Social Media Optimization is not active page management or social engagement. White nurturing the communities you build for yourself or your brand on social media, is important, this does not directly impact the on page optimization of your social networks. The act of actually being social on these platforms is imperative, however, as stated above, SMO requires an elevated level of effort and strategy.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Dead! Just kidding, that’s just a little joke we say around here. SEO is the art of building valuable and relevant content on and to your website to increase your website visibility to search engines.

What SEO is not

Spammy backlinks, keyword stuff articles, link backs in forums and on blogs, guest posts, and other “old-fashioned” tactics used long ago. The SEO of todays word is creating genuine content that people are genuinely looking for and engaging with.

How to Combine SMO and SEO efforts

Since the most recent overhaul of Google’s algorithm social interactions and engagements are getting a lot more emphasis in search results. So to make your SEO strategy and SMO efforts work together, be sure you are creating content for your site and social networks that is in fact, truly engaging and read by your users, while attracting new followers.

 

 

As we’ve mentioned, a major part of Socially Optimized search is the optimization done on your social media pages. Your brand will reap the SEO benefits when you optimize your social media accounts. Each platform has a different information set that can be used to describe, explain, and promote your business. Today we’ll break down each social network and the areas to focus your optimization efforts.

Social Optimize accounts

Facebook – Your Facebook page is an extension of your brand, but let’s be honest; people find your page, like it if they choose, and then never go back. The majority of your interactions will either take place in the newsfeed in the form of posts or ads. So why is Facebook Optimization so important? Two reasons: Your Facebook page needs to be visible when users are searching Facebook and an active well optimized Facebook page will show up in search results. Read How to Optimize Facebook here!

Twitter – Still up in the air about twitter? Well it’s an absolute must for many brands and we highly recommend tweeting to many businesses. Twitter is ideal if you are a national brand or company, have valuable content to share (which we think all businesses do!), and to keep an eye on your industry. Twitter is an excellent source for users to consume information, but tweeting is just for the news. Having a twitter account and providing followers with content gold increases your audience while boosting your search.

Pinterest – In our opinion, is one of the most powerful tools for social optimization. Did you know that Pinterest boards are showing up consistently on the first page of Google search? And, did you know that many users are skipping search engines and heading straight to Pinterest? True and true; Pinterest, a visual book marking site is becoming a crucial part of search and should absolutely be included in your company’s social strategy. So what are you waiting for? Read How to Optimize Pinterest here!

Google My Business (Formerly Google+) – not to take away from what we just said about Pinterest being all powerful, but Google My Business, although new is equally as important to your social search optimization strategy. If your brand doesn’t already have a Google+ page, now is the time. Google is perfecting local search and the best way to there for local customers is with Google my business. Read How to Optimize your Google My Business Account here!

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the only social network for business professionals. LinkedIn is awesome for big business and anything B2B, but also give smaller brands a voice and the opportunity to be seen. Not only is your linked in profile an important part of promoting your business, but building your business page on LinkedIn will contribute to your social search results.

Yelp – Yelp, where your customers can make or break your business! Remember the customer is always right, the customer is king, and without them there would be no you. Yelp has given consumers the power and truly forces a new level of customer service from businesses. While this new practice is great for the end user, it requires some extra effort from the owners.

Trip Advisor – If you’re in the travel, entertainment, or restaurant industry trip advisor is absolutely where you need to be. Claim your page so guests can leave reviews, pictures, and rave about your business. TripAdvsor also offers tools for businesses to create a positive image and include more social sharing in their strategy.

Blog – While blogging is a totally different beast, it is still a major player in SEO. Without going to in depth on the whole SEO thing, we do have a few tips and tricks to make your blog best optimized for social search. Read How to Optimize your Blog here!

SEO is dead, a trend of the past, and dare we say, archaic! The art of manipulating search engines through mass-produced duplicate content, keyword stuffed articles and spammy backlinks are long behind us. Today, the updates to Google’s algorithm make SEO all about quality, relevant content that users are genuinely searching for. Simply creating and sharing content is the secret sauce – or not-so secret. SEO success is the intricate combination of content and social. Simply put, social content is the new SEO.

Using content to fuel your SEO strategy is necessary, adding multiple social media platforms to your existing plan will propel your efforts to the next level. A functional site that acts as a destination for users, coupled with expert content, social and these SEO best practices will ensure your brand’s success

  • Add a blog to your website – What better place to showcase your brand’s fabulous content than on your own blog? Blogs are ideal for creating content, drawing in new and repeat customers, and providing an interesting voice to your social networks. Blogs are an integral part of any content marketing strategy.
    • Optimize your blog – Using WordPress to create a blog not only allows you to easily add content on a regular basis, giving consumers a reason to keep coming back, you can also add title tags and descriptions that are in line with your content. There is a host of WordPress plugins offering SEO solutions. The one we use, recommend and is most often used is Yoast.
    • Write shareable content – Don’t write content for contents sake. It’s imperative to create a blog that visitors visit to actually read and find valuable. User’s time on site is a key factor in SEO ranking, the longer your visitors are spending time on your site the better.
  • Use images – we live in a visual world and oodles of text are not what draw the eye to a post. While killer content and attention grabbing headlines are imperative to the success of a post, the addition of images is an additional way to draw readers in.
    • Optimize your images – Images, like content, can be optimized just like a blog post. When adding photos include a title, link, description, and alt tags.
    • Share your images – Always include an image when sharing your content on your social media platforms. Social media users have hundreds even thousands of pieces of content flying through their multiple feeds every hour. Eye catching imagery increases the chances of your followers stopping on your content to see what its all about.
  • Share and be social – Social networks aren’t just a place to get followers, likes and share your content. Social networks actually require “socializing”. In addition to sharing your content don’t forget to engage your followers, follow other brands in your industry, and provide info or content from sources other than your own.
    • Create a content strategy – For successful content, a strategy must come first. Content, ideally is written on a regular basis and posted at least two times a week. Editorial calendars and keyword research are extremely useful in helping you create there best content for your brand.
    • Create a social strategy – Once armed with a content strategy and editorial calendar, a social strategy can be put into place. Using your editorial calendar and previous keyword research will help you create a voice for your brand and cement your pos

When done properly blogging can be an incredibly powerful tool for your business and in our opinion, there are plenty of reasons why you should be blogging. The greatest benefit of regularly creating new content for your company is the added SEO value for your website. As stated by many experts, including ourselves, blogging is the best way to increase your organic search rankings.

Making your blog work for you is simple and we’ve got a fantastic checklist that will help you ensure your blog posts are SEO friendly every time.

o   Do keyword research

o   Focus on long tail keywords

o   Use a responsive design

o   Include meta optimizations

o   Use category tags

o   Optimize your images

o   Use appropriate URL structures that make sense

o   Link internally

o   Use an SEO plugin

o   Add Sharing Buttons

Keyword research is a great tool when deciding what to focus on in your blog posts. Keyword research can be done for free using Google Keyword Tool. Determine which words are relevant to your posts and what are searched frequently.

Focusing on 1 or 2 long-tail keywords per blog post help you to not keyword stuff your articles. Over use of keywords can appear as spam to Google and other search engine crawlers. Places to consider adding your keywords:

  • Title
  • 1st paragraph
  • URL
  • Meta Description

A responsive design means that your website or blog will readjust size, based on the device you are using. For example SocialPop Creative will fit your browser on your laptop and adjust its size when viewed on a smaller device like a smart phone. Users are much more likely to visit a site and return if it is easy to read.

Meta Descriptions is the additional textthat appears in a search result. It’s imperative to have an accurate and informative Meta description so readers can quickly determine that this is information they would like to read.

Category Tags categories are a component on your blog that doesn’t necessarily directly impact SEO, but can absolutely give you an SEO boost. Categories should be limited to about 10-15 and no more.

Images are equally as important in your blog posts as the text is. Optimizing your images is the act of configuring your images alt text to give an accurate description of the images and related content.

Including link structure that make sense, makes navigating your site much easier for users.For example any page that you want to navigate to on our site can be done by typing in www.socialpopcreative.com followed by “/pagetitle/” if you’d like to visit our about to learn about us, you can simply type in ww.socialpopcreative.com/about/. The following should be applied to your blog as well.

Linking internally to existing blog posts will help search engines determine what it is your blog is consistently about. Appearing as an accurate result in a search will increase user’s time on site, frequency of visits, and further boost your SEO efforts.

SEO plugins are super easy to find and can help anyone make sure their blog posts are all optimized.

Finally, one of the more simple tools to use, are sharing buttons. Adding social share buttons to your blog post allow reads to share your blog and post with their followers in just a simple click. These buttons can be installed as a plug in or designed right into your site.

Yesterday we addressed the question, “does my brand need a blog” and to the dismay of many readers the simple answer is yes. Yes, yes, yes, and we will say it one hundred times over. Blogging should be considered the most valuable tool in your content marketing arsenal, for many reasons. Just in case you still aren’t sure after yesterday’s post, here are ten more reasons why your business should be blogging.

  1. Blogging Keeps you Relevant – Mostly, your blog will show that you are an expert in your space. Regularly posting about the latest and greatest in your industry will prove that you are in the know and a trustworthy source. Additionally, this is your opportunity to show off and showcase your company/brand’s expertise.
  2. Attract Regular Visitors – Being relevant will keep your audience coming back for more information that they find valuable. Blogging can be used to provide solutions, inspire and help others, and deliver entertainment. Once you have determined your audience, in your content marketing strategy, your content can be targeted towards that audience which will keep them coming back for more.
  3. Blogging Builds Trust & Credibility – To keep your readers coming back, they need to trust that you are a valid source of information.Consistencies in your blog posts help build trust amongst your audience. If you are just starting out remember that accurate information and regular engagement can boost the trust level of your followers.
  4. Creates a Voice for Your Company – Not only does blogging give you a voice and platform; it’s an opportunity to give your brand a personality or breathe some life into your business. Your brand’s voice on your blog gives you the ability command authority and thrive in an online community.
  5.  Image Control & Reputation Management – your brand is everything, be present online when you need to set the record straight or when letting people know who you are as a company. Telling your story in a blog is an excellent way to communicate with your users online and ensure your fans of who you are.
  6. Interact with Readers and Fans – An informal blog, well maintained is an ideal method of communicating with your customers. Allow current and potential new users get to know your brand and learn about your products or services offered, your accomplishments, and the future direction of your company. Blog comments and open ended questions to users encourage your community to interact and build a relationship with your brand online.
  7. Images Can Be Incorporated – It’s no secret that images really add a wow-factor to anything online these days, and with the meteoric growth of Pinterest, adding images to your blog solely for image bookmarking purposes, will increase visitor counts almost instantly!
  8. Cost Effective Marketing Tool – Blogging can cost your brand almost nothing! If you are personally blogging for your brand or have your existing work force taking turns, this is essentially free marketing. If you are considering outsourcing this service, remember all the benefits of just one post (see 1-10).
  9. Free Market Research – Market research, not often discussed here, is an important tool for marketing. Blogging opens up conversations with your users, which allows you to ask questions, get feedback and deliver a truly better product or service.
  10. You Website Becomes Dynamic – Rather than the rare or infrequent content updates, a blog keeps new information on your site. New information will attract search engines and notify them that your site is one to track. Additionally this is just another reason to get your customers and fans coming back.

Frequently asked is the question, “Does my business really need a blog?”, as if the thought of pouring effort into content is literally, physically painful. To this question, we answer, “Absolutely, yes!” Every business and brand should invest time into a blog. Creating content for your brand can dramatically impact your business, attract new customers, and create a community around valuable content. If you’re not blogging for your brand or business, consider these 5 reasons why you must get started.

  1. Blogging is the Root of Content Marketing – Surely your content marketing strategy is not without a plan for blogging. If it is, now is time to re-evaluate. Blogging is where all of your content will stem from. Blog posts lead to social media posts, which in turn leads to increased viewership and brand building. Content is king (we know, like a broken record!) and there is nothing more valuable to your brands content marketing strategy than a blog.
  2. Your Most Valuable tool – Consider your company blog as one of the most valuable tools in your marketing arsenal. If blogging doesn’t fit into your busy schedule remember there are many options, get creative and hire a freelancer, consider guest posts or take advantage of your existing sales or marketing team. *Tip – Don’t hire an intern to create content for your blog. Leave this to the professionals!
  3. Blogging Fuels SEO – SEO, a buzzword that continually seems to mystify business owners. Simply put, blogging adds relevant and valuable content that search engines can see. With each blog post, another page on your website has been indexed; indicating that your website is active. Each new page is an opportunity to show up in a search result naturally leading to an increase in traffic.
  4. Builds Content for Social Media – Similar to SEO, blogging and distributing your content throughout your social networks increases your chances of being discovered. Blog posts added to your social networks have another opportunity to be shared, giving your brand the opportunity to be exposed to new audiences. Additionally, content from your blog allows your social media presence to keep going and strengthens your social reach.
  5. Blogging Gives Your Brand a Voice – From reputation management, to breathing personality into your brand, blogging is the ideal platform to do all of these things. On your blog give your company a personality. Your readers will be able to relate and it keeps things fresh and interesting. Additionally this builds trust with your readers, inspires engagement and opens two-way communication. Build your content and make it fun for your writers and readers.

We could go on and on about why you need to be blogging for your business. In fact, we think we will! Stay tuned for part two of this article; 10 Reasons Your Business should Blog.

 

Last night I was having a conversation with a friend who is having a complete redesign of her small business’s web presence. She couldn’t stop gushing about the services being provided to her, so as a person who offers many of the same services I set out to find exactly what it was they were doing  and what kind of price tag was associated. I have to say, everything they are doing is great and the price tag is just right, but I was shocked to hear their “SEO” practices.

“And they will buy a bunch of domains for you and redirect each one to your website!”

Excuse me? Mass purchasing domains is what they call “SEO Services”? Ok, I guess I can see where someone along the way decided this was logical. If I search for Jim’s Auto Body it only makes sense that jimsautobody.com would appear in one of the first results. However, this is not the case, experiment to follow.

There are many reasons why this practice is not something that can be called an SEO service. Today we are going to focus on the main reason why this practice is bogus.

Number one reason: Google reads the content on your website. Google’s crawlers are regularly indexing content and taking in information from the following places:

  • URL and linking structure
  • Meta Tags
  • Website Navigation
  • Images
  • And of course the actual content

A domain alone does not equal a webpage or website. Simply owning a domain without any information for Google to index means absolutely no presence in any search result whatsoever.

For example, I own the domain http://typeandstyleshop.com and have not yet built a site to go with this domain.

blue host

As you can see in the image, when I directly insert my URL into my browser, a page created by my hosting service is what appears. If I search for “Type and Style” this is what I find.

type and style search

These search results are not promising. Now if I search for “Type and Style Shop” you will notice not a single URL in these 1st page results has the words, “type”, “style”, or “shop” (except for the ads of course).

type and style shop search

Now for the ultimate test, I’m going to search for the whole domain “typeandstyleshop.com”.

typeandstylshopcom search

 Again, as you can see simply owning a domain does not equal results. Not only did my domain not show up, Google actually changed what I was searching for.

changed search

 

 

 

What about the redirect? Well, even if you redirect one domain to another you own with a website attached to it, the domain with the website will be indexed, rendering the redirected domain useless. Plain and simple.

This begs the question; what SEO services are you being offered? Make sure your marketing company is actually adding value and not wasting your money.