Two of the biggest forces on the web are Google and Facebook, and the monthly visitor counts are staggering. Google sites surpassed one billion unique monthly visitors and Facebook has more than a billion users. Compare that to the eyeballs you get from traditional advertising and it’s no wonder the stakes have been raised for your web marketing projects.
Now that Facebook and sites like Pinterest and Twitter are a serious threat to Google’s supremacy, the shift to include user-generated media is in full force. One of Google’s biggest challenges currently is to index the masses of user-generated content and provide search results that take your peers’ comments and suggestions into account. Since Google and Facebook aren’t exactly working in friendly cooperation, Google has created a rival social platform called Google+. Results from Google+ show right up in the main search results and some speculate that activity there and on other social platforms helps you in the “organic” search engine rankings. While we have little proof that there is currently more than a negligible impact on SEO from social signals, activity in social channels will get you more backlinks when people share and buzz about your content, and that will definitely help your ranks. Even the SEO super-gurus’ opinions on this issue vary widely, ranging from those who say that by the end of 2013, social signals will be equal to backlinks, to others who say it will be many years away, if ever, before social makes a significant direct impact on organic SEO rankings. Either way, social media and SEO are now truly joined at the hip and you can’t just do one or the other.
If you can tap into active web searchers and social media users and gain their trust by branding your company as a thought leader, you can grow your business in a way no traditional advertising agency can. However, this requires a new way of thinking that is more focused on providing useful content and having a two-way conversation than on broadcasting an advertising message, and it requires a system for drawing more people to your site who turn into customers. That’s what this blog is all about.