Google Is No Longer Judge, Jury and Executioner!
The Internet in 1969
The first message was sent over the ARPANET from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the second network node at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) was at 10:30 PM on October 29, 1969.
We have come a long long way since then! One of the key changes is the ability to share.
Things started to really happen in the early to mid-1990s. Back in the 90s and the first decade of the 21st century, websites were set up to stand alone. No one thought of or cared about “sharing”.
Blogs existed in the late 90s but they were not mainstream. Today, blogs are an integral part of our culture. Practically everyone reads blogs today. Perhaps for news, maybe for entertainment and certainly for education.
And the key to success, if you are a blogger, is to get people to share your content. The expansion of the use and appeal of the internet is due to people finding and sharing content. Significant businesses have been set up just to help people curate and share content.
Today, your website or blog is not significant if it is not being found. However it also needs to be shared, commented on, subscribed to, tweeted, retweeted or pinned.
Search is still important
but . . .
Search is still important but you must be really good – meaning well positioned. People no longer go down three pages if they don’t see something they like on the first page. The top page (perhaps sometimes the 2nd) is all that matters. If the website or blog you have worked so hard on is found on page three or four then forget about it – your chances of being visited are close to zero.
To get some level of exposure in search, in your early days, you need to create super content and then work hard to get some special supporters to provide some incoming links. With some links then things start to happen. You will be found more. When you are found in search then you gain more links and then people start to notice even more. At this point, you are on the verge of being shared. I need to emphasize the importance of links. With no links imagine your website or blog on page 89 of the search results. After some time your website or blog will die an untimely death – alone, unlinked and unloved.
Most digital marketing strategies focused on placing their websites high up in the search engine page rankings to generate traffic: page 2 was OK (but not great), page 1 better. The problem was, for any website to rank high, it really needs high traffic in the first place. With traffic comes links and of course shares.
Now – Enter Social Media – Much Changes
Social media networking has transformed the Internet. Now Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the curation sites do a significant amount of the heavy lifting. It is not just Google, Bing and Yahoo that determine the relevance of web pages, websites, and blog posts. Social media networking has brought true democracy to the Internet. Before, Google acted like it was the electoral college. Google determined the winner with its algorithms. It defined the winner even if the popular vote was different than what its algorithms said. Google was the judge, jury and executioner.
Popularity, today, is not defined exclusively by the search algorithms.
Today, search engines have revised how they rank web pages and blog posts. Now they favor the content that people prefer to read, share, and comment on. Today it’s well-written, informative and entertaining content that really drives website traffic, not a tinkering with keywords, title tags, and meta description. Back linking still counts and is perhaps necessary until you get enough exposure using other methods. Once you get a few precious links you will get more as long as your keep producing delightful content.
Here are five reasons why the effective use of social media will boost your website traffic and create a multiplying effect with more traffic generating increasing levels of traffic.
Social Media Marketing Levels the Playing Field
To get set up is not difficult but it does take some effort to get the ball rolling. You also cannot set up and then ignore your account(s). So, it is not a free exercise and certainly not free in terms of your time.
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or any other social media marketing account, they all operate under the same basic principle.
First, engage as many visitors as quickly as possible. This increases traffic flow.
Second, encourage sharing.
- Create excellent engaging content
- Use easy-to-share tactics
- Help others by sharing their content or promoting them
It is a good practice to promote your content on at least some of the most popular of these social media sites.
Engage and Cultivate
Increase your influence by cultivating new followers. Actively engage with your followers. Chat with them, share relevant links, answer questions contribute to the conversation.
The greater the number of engaged followers you can build, the more visible your site or blog will become. This generates extra traffic which builds on itself. This is how you become successful.
Develop a blog that speaks to your ideal audience. Each time you publish a new blog post make sure you share it on social media. Encourage your followers to repost and retweet!
Your Google Rankings Will Rise
Recent studies show a high correlation between those successful on social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn and a higher position in the search engines. It makes sense. If Google and the other major search engine see that your content is gaining popularity, then they conclude that your content must be good and they then display it higher in their search results. Google and the other major search engines always want to display the best content.
Your Content Will Get Indexed Faster
Search engine bots regularly crawl the web, indexing pages and ranking websites and blogs to the relevance and popularity of the content it finds. The more content bots find that meet these criteria, the higher your blog will rank. Fresh content posted on social media networks gets crawled and indexed much faster than just adding a new page to your website or making a post. Your website or blog will benefit from its higher page rankings and this will happen more quickly with the support of social media.
Nurture your social media followers before you ever try for a sale or ask for support. Nurture them. Perhaps indulge them. Engage with them. Build some trust and then you can ask for support or a sale. Even after a sale or a promotion continue to offer value – develop long-term relationships with your social media followers.
It’s no longer viable to avoid connecting with people using social media if you want your website or blog to be featured high in the search engine rankings. You also can drive significant traffic to your website with social media engagement.
Your success will be based on your position in search and on the traffic you drive to your site with social media. You are in an ongoing race with your competitors. It is essential to get your content crawled faster by the search engines than your competition. The essential advice is to supply a steady stream of fresh content to your social media pages.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. are the online consumer magnets of today. Each has subscribers numbering in the 100s of millions. These are potentially your followers. If you establish a following, engage them and nurture them in the right way then you are using social media properly.
So, what’s your excuse for not tweeting about your business today? Start driving traffic through social media – you won’t regret it.
I can also help you with social media marketing coaching. It starts with blog coaching but certain can be expanded to LinkedIn and Twitter. Fill out the form below to get started.