We would all love to increase our position in search and increase visibility when it comes to your listings in search results. Luckily enough, you can easily make an impact with the following tips and tools that I’ll cover in this article.
Let’s talk SERP
Firstly, let’s talk about your search engine results page typically referred to as ‘SERP’. This page is shown when you input a search term or phrase into a search engine such as Google. You will want to make sure first and foremost that your social pages dominate the SERP page for your business / brand name.
The first thing you will want to do if this isn’t the case is to ensure you sign up for all social profiles under your business / brand name. The desired effect we’re looking for here is for someone to input your company or brand name, hit search and find your website followed by nearly all of your social profiles one after the other from sites such as Twitter (including recent tweets), Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and more. The ideal result here is to occupy the SERP as much as possible with useful information and data from your social media profiles which provide a lot of ‘at a glance’ data that stands out.
Standing out from the crowd
You will want to make sure your information in search results ‘pop’ and stand out above all other content. A lot of people tend to have the opinion that a higher position in search is better. I wouldn’t argue with that but what can be even better in some respects is to have visually appealing and eye-catching content, even if it’s at the lower part of search results. YouTube videos do this perfectly and are a great opportunity to pull users in as a video thumbnail is infinitely more eye catching than just plain text.
In a previous blog I wrote about being your customers ‘personal problem solver’ and this is something that comes up again and again. You can apply that thinking to creating visually appealing and useful videos answering frequently asked questions that you receive from your customers, or questions that they will likely want to ask in the future. Fix their problems before they even knew they had one!
With HD cameras being attached to pretty much every smartphone and a lot of basic editing software being free and easy to use, there really is no excuse not to get recording and editing! This will help you in lots of different ways when it comes to promoting your products and service in addition to standing out in search and making your content pop out at the user. Even if you don’t want to fully commit to YouTube, micro video sites are a great place to start to get the ball rolling. This will (at the very least) get you feeling comfortable in front of the camera and get you used to speaking to your audience.
Gaining Quality Backlinks
Being found in search obviously becomes more difficult when it comes to moving search terms from your brand / business name to a search term that describes your product or service. One way to increase the likelihood of being found for these terms is by having good quality backlinks. So, where does social media come into all this? Well, the more shares you receive, the better the chances of it being found by a ‘high value’ publication or even if it’s just popular users with a large audience – it’s somewhat of a knock-on effect. Chances are, users will share and repost your content to various platforms online gaining you more backlinks if they find what you put out to be useful and of a high quality.
Using Twitter as an example, tweeting is great as a lot of people use tools such as Hootsuite to monitor real time conversations about certain keywords or topics. Chances are, if you make some great content that gets around a lot on social media, this will be picked up by others that have large audiences resulting in them potentially wanting to write a reaction piece, or just write about you and your content.
Again, apply the usual rules regarding social media posts for maximum impact – Visual content such as infographics and video thumbnails are recommended in addition to using relevant hashtags with short and to the point text all without pushing sales down user’s throats.
Finding the right influencers
If you really want to try and hone in on specific influencers relevant to the content that you are putting out, there are some great tools that will help you. One tool which is called BuzzSumo allows you to use their interface to search by keyword or phrase depending on which is relevant to find users / accounts. This tool will allow you to find specific and relevant influencers that you’ll want to directly target and sort for later use with Twitter ads (for example). Various details are displayed regarding how ‘valuable’ each account is by identifying factors such as follower count and other pieces of data.
You can also use a tool such as Tweepi which isn’t just used to grow your follower count meaninglessly – it can be used to target and follow groups of influencers within a specific industry and you can later check back in and see who hasn’t followed back and maintain a healthy follower / following ratio while growing an audience of influencers relevant to you and your business / industry. There is even a Google Chrome extension that makes following groups of people even easier via this method but make sure that you use correctly for small targeted groups of users, spamming and overuse/abuse of the tool may get your account suspended.
If you really want to get in-depth you can create various Twitter lists based on the information you have found via the tools and create targeted Twitter ads for each list. You can start this on a trial and error basis, see what works and what doesn’t – it’s all low risk and can be done effectively even on a small budget with the potential of significant results.
So to conclude, initially you will want to focus on making sure that you are registered and actively using as many social networks as possible in order to optimise your SERP. With this complete, you can start to target the right types of users and ‘influencers’. These tips require you to be active on social media regularly and producing quality content as there’s no use finding the right people if the content you put our is subpar.