Rumour has it that Facebook will soon create a full-bodied search engine which will offer the same contextual advertising that Google does. For the time being, the social network is gathering sufficient data and, with the announcement of Facebook Graph Search on 15 January, the search potential for brands and digital marketers is massive.
The Graph Search acts similar to any other search engine; the more content that gets shared, liked or commented on, the greater the chances of it being found. Before the implementation of Graph Search, Facebook would use its on data for searches and if something was not found, Bing results would appear as an alternative.
Today, however, customers use Google to search for something specific and often the ideas which arise on Facebook are first validated on Google before a decision is made.
Is SEO important for social media?
This question is answered with a resounding ‘yes’. But social media SEO does not only refer to keywords and links. The importance of social content and social signals must also be taken into consideration.
For example, the search landscape is affected by the geography of the user and whether or not they’re logged in. Marketers must use standard SEO practices in order for Google to find you, while providing content that is compelling, specific and shareable. This type of search optimization is a continuous balance between proactive social participation and making things easier for Google to consume.
In addition, the use of plugins allow people to easily share content on the social networks which they’re apart of and this can have a big impact. This allows people to let the social graphs know that they are interested in certain content.
Lee Odden, author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing, says, “It’s important to understand what you are doing in the context of who you are trying to impact – it’s the results and performance in sales that pay the bills.’
Once you understand the interests of the target audience and begin creating profiles, you can begin keyword research coupled with what you’re hoping to optimize. And while SEO typically involves Google Adwords and popular searched phrases, social media SEO focuses on the consumer interacting with these keywords and phrases. Is your content compelling enough that users will want to engage with you?
What’s the future of SEO?
Google and Facebook are both driven by creating value for its shareholders, therefore, user experiences will continue to evolve so that people stay interested.
Odden predicts one of two things happening in the future: consumers will become dissatisfied, or become more like sheep.
He goes on say that Facebook will be the chosen destination, should people become more willing to compromise their privacy and, in addition, if Google stops focusing on search as their core function, then their growth will remain the same.
And what about the importance of content for SEO? One is only powerful through the use of the other. As early as the 1800’s, businesses have been doing marketing via content and the reason search engines exist is because of this content that people are sharing on the social web. Odden comments that content “isn’t king, it’s the kingdom, because without it, search wouldn’t exist and social networks would be dry.”
For SEO solutions, contact Digital Fire Managing Director, Thomas Boyde, on 021 461 0891/1226/1216 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org