Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Using Social Media for SEO

I recently went through my blog and realised I've never really talked about Social Media much. I guess that's partly due to the fact that I'm no expert in the field. But then again, you really don't have to be an expert to know about Social Media. How much you decide to go along with it, well, then that's up to you. Personally, I've found Social Media very useful for me, especially in terms of getting my 'brand' out there. So in this post I'll just go over some ideas for using Social Media which work for me.

My understanding of Social Media are websites which are based on community engagement and social networking. So lots of it has to do with interacting with other members and getting followers or friends as the case might be. For instance, twitter is all about the followers, facebook is all about friends and 'likes' and linkedin is about connections. Bottom line, they are all about socialising and networking.

One of the ways I've found social media to work for me is to make good use of links. Whether they are followed-links or not, as long as I can get a link from them I make good use of them. Take for example this new website a friend recommended About.Me where I just created my profile here. It's a bit like Onepage, having the same benefits and all. They act as online business cards, where you link all your social networks together, including facebook, twitter, linkedin and others you can think of. In other words they help you form a base for your social network sites, a one stop social network shop if you like.

I find websites like this very handy because of it's simplicity. From a SEO point of view, they also provide link backs to your websites, enhance I see it as a win-win situation. Yes, you're building links for the companies, but they're also linking back to you. If you build the right kind of links they can also send you very good traffic - but you have to have a good profile which makes sense.

Sites like twitter, facebook and linkedin also have the linking option which you should make good use. Create links to your website and make sure the profiles are engaging and have pictures (yes, believe it or not, people actually look at pictures and read your bio, I know I do). If you don't have an active website, there is no point putting a website which doesn't work, I think that's just wrong. If the website is a work in progress but is currently down, don't put it. Alternatively, you could put another one of your social network pages, that way they all interlink.

Since search engines have now given the green light to social media by saying they take social media mentions into consideration when ranking a website, it only goes to show that we need to make the best of social media. It also brings home the fact that social media is here to stay, for a long while at least.

That means more twitter RTs, facebook shares, linkedin mentions and all will only help your cause and get your brand out there. Heck, even blogger, wordpress, flickr and all other social media sites which allow a link should be used. But that doesn't mean we should go out there spamming websites and placing your links all over the place, that will just get you banned.

Just spare a thought for social media in 2011, I know I'll be taking more interest in it myself!

Compliments of the season and enjoy the holiday season...

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