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SEO Tips: Focus More On Engagement, Less On Link Building

SEO Tips for Small Businesses: Focus on Engagement

If you want your website to rank on the first page of a Google search you had better become familiar with the term “engagement.”

Engagement Defined

Engagement, in very simple terms, is the various ways that your followers and fans interact and engage with you or your company online.

Marketers have learned that search engines are now looking at a company’s level of “engagement” when considering how to rank their websites and blogs. Effective search engine optimization (SEO) is now focusing on increasing a company’s level of engagement.

With Google’s recent Penguin algorithm update most marketers and SEO experts and now shifting their focus from looking at strategies like link-building toward looking at more social factors such as how many people “like” and “share” your content with their friends, and how many people are becoming fans of your company and following you on social sites.

Engagement diagram

Friends and Buying Decisions

When it comes to buying decisions, people are very much influenced by their friends. Here is some interesting research from Hubspot that outlines how recommendations from friends are one of the most popular ways people decide how to spend their money:

  • 70% of people believe consumer ratings
  • 61% of people research a product before they purchase it using search engines
  • 90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends
  • 75% of people do not accept advertisements as truth

This below infographic from Hubspot visually illustrates this research, and gives some specific company stats on actual sales increases connected to increasing engagement. This infographic demonstrates why increasing company engagement is a good business investment:

Ecommerce Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing - Infographic Ecommerce Marketing Software – All-In-One Inbound Marketing Software

What Can You Do To Increase Engagement?

Create High Quality Content

Write articles and create web pages that have unique and interesting content.

Set up Blog and Websites that Integrate Social Media Sites

  • Integrate social media sites on your website. There are plugins that allow you to post tweets and facebook posts in a widget area on your website
  • Make sure you have social sharing icons before or after your blog articles to make it easy for people to share them on social media sites
  • Make sure your mobile website also integrates with social sharing

Give People Content They Want

Regularly, post content to keep fans engaged and coming back for more

Be Available, Show You Care About Them

  • Engage with followers and fans who post comments
  • Respond to comments on a timely basis

Reinforce Behavior You Want

  • Periodically reward fans with discounts, contests and/or special offers
  • Encourage their sharing content with their friends
  • Give them a shout out

Engagement Makes Sense

The more you think about it, the more you realize why using engagement makes sense. Since the number one way businesses connect with new customers is through word-of-mouth, you can understand that having these conversations and deepening these relationships with your existing customers is good business.  When it comes to social sites, people notice which businesses their friends are “liking” or  where they are “checking in,” what contest they are entering, or what content they are sharing. It is for these reasons that their friends and their connections will actually end up becoming prime candidates who may frequent your business at some point in the future.

So if you have not already done so start by setting up or completing the setup of your social sites, adding good content and connecting those sites to your blog and/or website. It will be time and money well spent, will improve your SEO ranking, and ultimately bring in more business.

Get Started

If you do not have the resources or knowledge in house, hire an outsourced marketing professional to do this for you, but make sure that they have complete knowledge of you business/products and be in communication around what people are saying online and how you will respond to certain types of inquiries so that whatever content they produce is interesting and engaging and reflects the company culture and values. Get more information about Social Media Marketing ServicesSearch Engine Optimization Services or Read more Internet Marketing Strategies and SEO Tips

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