Google sends top friendlies to the Search Engine Optimization and Search Marketing Expo conventions and has for over a decade.
Just as Rome sent spies into enemy camps to learn their methods of fighting, and traded princes to soften those from their own camps who would then be more pliable to suggestion and gain deeper trust to allow even more information to flow towards Rome – Google has made inroads into Search Engine Optimization in the same way.
As of late 2013 Google Analytics no longer shows 80% plus of the origins of traffic to your web site because they’ve encrypted it all. The mere smattering of “free” traffic results seen are almost useless unless your site is getting 5,000 hits a day because the sample rate is too small to be useful. The average small business site is only getting 25 to 100 visits a day. So if you’re missing out on the data from Analytics then you’re only seeing between 6 to 25 visitor inquiries at most… and many of them are duplicates of one another or mistaken / erroneous visits for things other than what you want to rank for.
So the new message out from SEOs is FORGET ABOUT KEYWORDS AND LINKS – Though Google continues to speak in the friendly voice and display a fair face and countenance, it has revealed itself as the enemy. Europe has taken them to task time after time in their courts and won battle after battle against them for unfair practices against businesses – but in America we’re left sucking our thumbs.
Social media is an area Google let slip it is taking signals from because they can’t be manipulated. Google then reversed that declaration. They do not.
However during the first few months after Google’s slip the buzz was all out – branding and social media through Facebook pages, Pinterest account activity, Twitter posts and more added up to something most companies (outside of big brands with web staffs of half a dozen to a few dozens or even hundreds) can’t influence.
The fact is that social media does play an important role in branding. Brands are important in Google. Customer Relations, Public Relations and Product Support go hand in hand with social media such as Twitter and FaceBook pages… and ignoring social media is a sure way to be unaware of out of hand slandering and maligning of your business name through unchecked, unmonitored, unanswered disgruntled smear tactics against your company – deserved or undeserved – from real customers or from the competition out there posing as customers.
So – that said – if you only have one SEO you’re going to need to have members of your staff who are savvy and dedicated to commit thin slices of their time throughout the day to various social media platforms to build followers, provide input and updates, to join groups and discussions involving areas of company expertise, and to search for those problem topics being discussed which your company products and services are the perfect solution for.
That said – Great Stuff in Brooksville is an example of a rudimentary social media presence http://www.toomuchgreatstuff.com/social-media/ but it needs manning.
If you have a company with a social media presence but you’re not updating it you’re not going to succeed. But social media alone without a website is insanity for a few reasons. First, Facebook belongs to itself and what it decides to do with your content is its own business – it could shut you down tomorrow. Same with Pinterest, Twitter etc. Also what you write on Facebook goes away – it gets pushed down lower and lower with each post. What you need is a website with content YOU own, company content, that you can post as a link to Facebook and to Twitter and LinkedIn – at which point you’re now the established author indexed in Google (those social media posts are for live logged in people – not for the entire world on Google)… so if your small company doesn’t have your daughter or son, or a dedicated web employee on payroll updating your website created branded company related content every week as well as establishing community links through local activities on other area sites and pages pointing to your own web site (the link located on the other site and it points to your own web site - it is not ON your website and it does not point toward their web site), and if you don’t have that then you need at least 2 or better 3 to 5 people (management, sales, marketing, Search Engine Optimization [many hats today - far more difficult, diverse and involved today than ever] – then you’re destined to one of two options:
1) Paying some outside company forever to do what you and your company either aren’t capable of learning or aren’t prepared to learn (while those outside companies are simultaneously promoting your direct competitors)
2) Shrinking and dying as you lose market share wondering why (see 1 above).
Social media should be fun and games for the people on it. They’re on it all day. They’re on it on their phones, on their tablets, on their desktop and laptop PCs and Macs.
For businesses Social Media is hard work and a lot of it. Customers at Great Stuff come in to shop but they stay to shop because it’s also about socialization, schmoozing, chit chat and a little back and forth and bargaining before the sale. Fortunately Great Stuff is also on eBay and has a much broader business base than Brooksville in Hernando County Fl. But if you’re selling cars in Citrus County you’ve got to narrow it down to the several surrounding county areas and compete with the other car dealers.
If you’re the marketing rep you can’t do it alone. Hire a qualified Search Engine Optimizer / Search Engine Marketer / Social Media Optimizer consultant and when he or she assigns tasks to keep on Twitter, to find and invite friends on Facebook and interact, or to create new posts on the site a few times a week (content marketing) LISTEN TO THE CONSULTANT! That’s what you’re paying for.