You might call this a matter of opinion… or you might add your constructive thoughts in the comments…
Either way, the fact is this: If you keep 2 pillars of success in mind when engaging in SEO or Social Media, you will experience gains (in traffic, reputation, and business).
Don’t believe me?… Google Analytics doesn’t lie: Continually adding unique, value-adding content to your blog and sharing it on social channels will net you serious growth!
So what are the 2 pillars?
Be Active & Add Value
I know, “easier said than done” – But trust me, it works!
BOTH the search engines and (more importantly) your users will sincerely appreciate your being active & adding value.
Imagine two different scenarios…
The BAD SEO & Social Media practitioner
Here’s a company that had a college girl set up their Facebook & Twitter profiles.
The profiles are never updated. OH WAIT, here’s is an update, what does it say?
“Check out our website: www.their-1994-website.com”
Does that add any value to the crickets that are chirping on their Twitter page? NO.
Visit their website and all you find is big blobs of text full of their industry-related jargon and a blog that hasn’t been posted to in over a year.
When you engage with their Facebook page, asking them a question about their product or service, do you think they will reply? NO.
#FAIL, right? Let’s see if the grass is greener over here…
The AWESOME SEO & Social Media practitioner
This company has added at least 1 article a month to their website for the last year. You can count on them to give you valuable, often actionable, insights.
(Sounds like Social Media Explorer, doesn’t it?)
When you visit this company’s twitter page, you find links to other, relevant and informative, articles. They even tweet back @ you when you tweet @ them.. they’re ALIVE!
They earned your trust.. by actively adding value!
Their website is engaging and so you subscribe to their email updates & like them on Facebook.
Admit it, you don’t trust websites or companies that don’t teach you something or aren’t consistant. If CNN stopped reporting, how long would it take for their following to erode? I imagine it would be pretty quick.
PS: It works in every situation..
Whether you’re commenting on a blog post, responding in a forum, tweeting, replying to a thread on Facebook, or pinning your favorite shoes… the people engaged in the conversation will trust & respect you a lot more if you’re consistently adding value, as opposed to either being a “fly on the wall” or responding with a simple “I agree.”
OK, enough already… At this point, I’m going to assume you believe that adding value & being active works… so now let’s dive into how you can hold yourself accountable to being active & adding value.
No one said it would be “easy”
There are several ways to ensure you’re gaining ground and looking good in both Google & your visitor’s eyes.
Create, AND STICK TO, an editorial calendar
My colleagues and I call this a “publishing schedule” – This is a list of blog articles that you or your colleagues are to write on a certain time schedule (usually found on a calendar of sorts).
There are 3 keys to success here:
- Selecting topics – I suggest a combination of keyword research mixed with your industry trends. What’s going on in your industry? How is it going to affect your clients? What can they do to prepare? Share your secrets, but make sure people care (ie. it adds value).
- Hold accountable – Content is abundant, yet companies have so much trouble producing it. Be proactive and hold your co-workers accountable for getting the content produced! Pro tip: have a glass of wine (JUST ONE) before you write.
- Get creative – I said content is abundant and you didn’t believe me.. what about your white papers, case studies, sales decks & presentations, emails, and webinars? – I bet you can find ideas for awesome content by paying attention to what you’re already producing.
Use technology to keep you fresh
Did you know you can get an email anytime Google finds something new that references your brand (or anything you’re interested in)? Google alerts will send you an email when the there is a new web page indexed that matches your search query.
You can get fancy and use advanced search operators to hone into the specific content you’re looking for. (ps: I found that post by doing this search in Google: “site:seomoz.org search operators” <– because I know I’ve read that post in the past & remember it being of high quality, hence the reason I found it and shared it on this post #qualitycontentmatters).
How about saving Twitter searches? That’s another way to quickly find content that’s relevant to your business (ps: they also have an advanced search… ooo la la!)
OK, so now you’re monitoring, time to add some value.. How?
- Comment with purpose – When you comment on an article, ask a question or suggest an alternate opinion. Authors are generally helpful & love responding to comments. You could stir up the converstaion by suggesting an alternate view point. Think about the best review you’ve ever read on Yelp and try to add value to other readers in a similar fashion.
- Offer help – Suppose you’re a brand and someone posts something not so nice about your product. You could offer them an apology, discount, or refund to “turn that frown upside down.”
- You tell me – What other methods do you employ to add value?
Enough from me, now it’s your turn. Comment below with your thoughts or turn your last email into an original blog post!