Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of creating your blog / website and all posts in a way that will be most conducive to the way Google spiders crawl and rank your site. Google looks for the relevant, repeated theme. SEO helps Google to make the right decision by:
- A) Creating Unique, Valuable and Original Posts that contain specific targeted Keywords (No Duplicate Content Please), and
- B) Using the Keywords in your Title, Meta Description, and SEO Plugins (Such as All in One SEO Pack) to further assist Google in it’s Site Assessment
Other ways to rank well with Google and the Search Engines is by gaining backlinks. Backlinks are other well ranking sites that mention your site and provide a link to you on one of their web pages. Either the site’s writer specifically links to you through an article, review or mention of your site, or you can comment on certain sites that allow links to appear along with your comment.
Those are just two of the many SEO tactics. If you are into writing articles, you can write on sites such as Ezines.com or Suite 101 and link back to your website. Guest blogging on a popular site in exchange for a backlink is another way to earn some Search Engine juice.
Now that you have a bit of an idea what goes into SEO (and that’s just scratching the surface), obviously you can appreciate the importance of a well planned, well written, and well constructed blog or website.
That’s the geeky end of the spectrum.
How does Social Media Networking fit into this picture?
If you are active on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, and LinkedIn….”Active” being the defining word here, you can go viral for certain information, offers, contests, and articles in a very short amount of time. How short? How about an hour or two. Now I’m not talking about the casual Tweeter with a following of 500 or less, nor am I talking about the occasional Facebook poster. If you have a following that actively engages in conversations with you, then you pretty much know who you are.
If you were wondering, try heading over to a site called Topsy.com. Sign up for a free account. It will sync with your Twitter and show you the statistics of your Tweets. You’ll see numbers such as “How many times other influential Tweeters Re-tweet you” and it even rates how influential you are, right next to your name. You’ll get a good idea of your authority level.
With that in mind, if you are active on the Social Media Networking scene, you’ll happily enjoy the best of both worlds. You’ll have a site that is easily found and ranked by Google, and you can go ahead and set up your networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn to automatically grab your blog posts and display them. You can also Tweet your latest or most popular posts. Just don’t overdo it with the Tweets or it becomes irritating spam and you’ll lose followers.
As a side note, the active Social Networker is NOT someone who wastes all of their time every day on FaceBook or Tweeting away their morning. Use Social Media wisely, just as you would use your email. It’s a tool. You don’t check your email every five seconds, so treat Social Networking accordingly. Once check in the morning with a few comments to individuals and one in the late afternoon should be plenty. It’s the individual who squats on FaceBook for hours at a time that complain about what a time suck it is. It doesn’t have to be.
So, who is the winner? Which is more important? My vote is for enjoying the best of both worlds. There have been times that I’ve Tweeted one of my blog posts and it led to quite a surge of traffic. I wouldn’t want to have to give this effective marketing tool up. But for those of you who really want to know which is more important…My vote is for SEO, hands down.
Why is SEO More Important than Networking?
Search Engine Optimization works for you 24 hours a day. It’s a “set it and forget it” tactic. If you take the time to implement proper Search Engine Optimization into your site and your posts, Google will do the work for you. Ranking on Page 1, 2, or 3 for targeted keyword phrases will bring potential clients to your door while you sleep. I wake up to quote requests for my writing at least three or four times per week. For me it’s a combination of my SEO and Social Networking, but I’ve noticed that I also am approached for my services even when I have neglected my Social Networking. So that’s my take on it. SEO should be the foundation for a properly built site.
Google is getting better at weeding out the spam sites and ranking the valuable, original, well constructed sites. Get in on the SEO train now, and your site will be ready for a profitable 2010.