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by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

Let me begin by saying I am not an SEO expert. I understand the basics of SEO and I understand that it’s a science the requires a lot of study to master. I also understand that there are ways of sidestepping this study and ongoing work by using social media…

The premise of being found on Google (or any other search engine for that matter) is that you need to make the search engine think that your page is the most relevant page to the query that the person searching has just entered. How that relevance is calculated has a number of drivers (and an algorithm which is usually a closely guarded secret) based on (amongst other things):

Keyword density: The number of times the keyword (or phrase) being searched is present on the page.

How important the page/URL is: This is sort of “pagerank” in Google’s terms and this is a measure of whether the page is important (has lots of links pointing to it) or is hosted on a major URL (a page on the BBC website for example will sadly for us usually score more highly than a page on this website www.social-experts.net ).

The URL: Does the URL contain the search term – “yoursite.com/widgets” is more likely to create greater favour than “yoursite.com/192672″ if you are trying to be seen for widgets.

Meta Data: does the structure of the page support what the search engine thinks the page is about?

Age: How old is the page? Older pages are usually less valuable than recent pages (but more so than brand new ones).

It’s a bit of a minefield really isn’t it, and regular updates to algorithms mean that the perfect balance of what works today might not work tomorrow. 

There is another challenge facing you too. If you are trying to optimise a page for something that might be profitable for you, you’re probably not the only one trying to optimise for this. So that makes it very competitive.

We all know the importance of being at the top of the first page of results. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat as they say…so where can you go to be relevant where people are looking…but your competitors aren’t?

I have a friend that runs a PPC (pay per click) agency and it’s interesting that she has a very pragmatic view on this. It’s all about the clicks, the competition and the price. They create some of the best PPC campaigns there are and optimise these do deliver the maximum clicks and conversions they can. As you know, we don’t engage in any paid media so the price isn’t an issue for us, but the clicks and the competition most definitely is and we can take a leaf out of their book.

One of their clients is a jeweller, and she jokes that they sell more products to people who cannot spell “jewellery” than to those that can. Now although this comment is slightly tongue in cheek the rational behind it is very serious indeed.

If the purpose is to get as many visitors as possible then why just pick the ones who can spell (or type) well? For us at Digital Leadership Associates these visitors come for our content and from our social presence. At the moment we are having a drive towards “programmatic social selling” (because it’s what we do) and we don’t mind whether our clients can spell “programatic” or not! So think about how you create content, how you distribute if and how you drive traffic and ask yourself next time you hurriedly type something in and misspell it whether you are the only person in the world who does this…and if you’re not there could be an opportunity for yoo [sic].

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