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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Search engine marketing and social media: conversion is a matter of relevance

In order for your website or other online properties to be found online (inbound marketing), you still need a good search engine optimization strategy.

Defining relevant keywords for your business and, more than ever, for your target groups. Relevance is increasingly becoming important in search. What people find in search engine result pages must lead to online destinations that are relevant for their search queries.

Search engines already take this into account but in the end they remain quite ‘dumb’ and all too often well ranked search engine results still lead to irrelevant web pages and thus content.

You can easily optimize the SEO of your pages with search engine optimized content, the right link building strategies and applying all the rules of professional search engine marketing.

But what’s the use of ranking high in results if the value you provide on your website is low from a visitor viewpoint? Conversion starts with being found online but it happens after the click.

When the relevance is not there, there is no conversion and probably even a negative perception about your brand.

Search engine optimized content requires the help of a professional. SEO copywriters are not always cheap, but they can correctly optimize all your content so it's search engine friendly.

However, that is not enough anymore.

If you want your content to be shared via social media, bookmarked and result in optimal conversion, you need a partner that understands more than keywords and SEO.

He or she needs to be able to write with the needs of the readers in mind, knows how to write a call-to-action, understand what determines if your content will be shared on social media or bookmarked on social bookmarking sites and understands that content is part of a broader exercise where your web site, blog, emails, social media presences and whatever you do, are part of another conversion process.

Not that from content to click and online conversion. But that from lead to loyal customer by offering content as a way of lead nurturing. Content in the context of the customer buying journey.

SEM is part of a broader marketing strategy and that’s why many agencies are extending their offering with social media optimization, conversion strategies, web analytics, online copywriting and sometimes even marketing automation and lead management.

Where social media optimization fits in

The same goes for the skills of an online copywriter: he or she must acquire new skills. This type of online copywriting is something that, according to me, cannot be done in house but must be outsourced to a highly specialized expert, a conversion agency, an SEO firm that has an integrated approach or a communication agency that has that same integrated approach but also a customer-centric look on interactive marketing.

In the end, all that matters in marketing is the bottom-line and the value that is created for the business and the customer. And content is key in every micro-conversion, acquisition effort, lead nurturing step and word-of-mouth conversation. That's also where social media optimization fits in: not search is social but relevance.

Originally posted here: Search engine marketing and social: why SEO and search engine optimized content are not enough

5 comments:

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