It’s well into 2010. By now, we are all aware of what SEO means and what it can do for your business. As a small business, especially if you have less than ten employees, you need to learn the terms, embrace social network sites and learn your market.
Just in case you’re not familiar with the term “organic SEO” we have a few articles written on the topic. In simple term it’s the process of driving traffic to a website through organic or natural means. This term is also used to differentiate it from marketing by paid inclusion PPC. The algorithms that search engines use to rank the sites change frequently; those who market their sites organically have to rely on research, analytics, collecting data, and making decisions based on the results, as well as trial and error methods.
With patience and a firm understanding of how search engines work, you can use different proven methods than give you results, in time. Organic SEO is not a marketing method guaranteed to produce immediate results. However, for a small business with a great product or service and a solid three to six month strategy, you’d be amazed what you can do with a small budget. When done with thoughtful planning, marketing analysis, surveys, and time, one can involve and integrate things like keyword research, web content development, link building, review and analysis.
With the invasion of the Internet world by social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and the like, you have to start thinking in the bigger scheme of organic SEO. Now, with Google real time search, it has given the small business a whole new dimension. Through the micro-blogging of Twitter, video uploading of YouTube, data collection of LinkedIn, and discussion forums and photo sharing sites, opinion sharing and information sharing has widened into extents that were inconceivable a few years ago.
A small business owner may not be able to participate in all these networks all the time. Therefore, it’s best to create accounts in networks that are suited for a certain niche market. Use search tools like Google Alert and “study” their email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.
See where the buzz is and engage that arena. For organic SEO purposes, securing such an identifying tag is important; with the number of people flocking to such sites, getting a unique identity is no easy job. If someone else gets the name with which you wanted to describe yourself, it may not be an easy situation. Whatever you do, don’t use numbers or gibberish. Unless, of course your company name is Level 343.
In a social media network, small business owners have to learn how to track the trajectory of the product by monitoring the buzz. This is where taking the steps or getting the help from various social networking tools can help your overall SEO. It’s a clear way to chart your success. For example if you are on Twitter then consider using tools like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buzzom to do some of the work for you.
Twitter seems to be the golden child – the leader in social media networks these days. But ask yourself, is it the right tool to reach your market? For organic SEO purposes, I suggest twitting a well thought out campaign. I won’t get into how you should Twitter or the right way or wrong way; we already have several articles about Twitter. Nor am I suggesting that you plug your product and spam people.
Suffice it to say, using Twitter to micro-blog and engage your potential buyers is one of the greatest rewards when used properly. Keep in mind, the ultimate goal here for “anyone” on the Internet is to buy or sell. Once you gain entry, the topic can later be slowly dressed up to make it a business tweet.
One of the great products I mentioned earlier is Hoot suite. This tool is easy to integrate into your social networking strategy. Whether you are a one-man show or an organization with more than one contributor, Hoot Suite makes it easy to manage multiple users over various Twitter accounts. It gives you great visualizations for link statistics; graphs show summaries and individual tweet statistics. Once these people have been identified, a communication has to be kept up so that the connection will not be severed. That is how unpaid or organic SEO can work for you in social networks.
The other tool I mentioned is Buzzom. This is a great tool to clean out your follower list on Twitter. Start paying attention to who you follow in order to better understand your niche market. One can Flush (Unfollow who are not following you) Grow (Grow network, follow new people) and Reciprocate (Follow your followers back) all with one click of the button. The stats allow you to make intelligent decisions based on analytics. This tool is another great way to measure and track your performance to enrich your social presence. As a paid subscriber, you can use some of their more advanced tools, like scheduling multiple tweets.
I don’t want to sound redundant, but use these tools wisely. Do not to talk only about your product. There should be large helpings of current events, trends, celebrity news etc. Try to share the product information in a way that it appears incidental to the main topic. This way, prospective customers will engage with you and share valuable information without feeling that you’re forcing the product on them.
Using tools over a period of time is a good way to connect and bind a relationship and promote your organic SEO efforts. Once you are well entrenched you can use a site like BackTweets.com to check what is being said on Twitter and whether anyone has been talking about your business or any other small business of a similar type.
Another great easy tool to use is KPMRS. With one click of the button you can see how popular your business is in different feeds and accounts across several social networking sites, from Delicious, Technorati, Stumbleupon, Twitter etc. As a matter of fact they have several great tools to use on this site.
Here is a consideration for you – with real time search, Google, and all these other tools, you can actually create a three-month social networking chart. You can follow the various tools and gauge how your campaigns are doing. If you are selling an eBook or a product in the social arenas then you need to be prepared to merge your organic SEO efforts along with your social networking efforts. Seeing these results charted out is the best to test, adjust and merge your organic SEO and social marketing efforts.
It is more or less the same process at all social networking sites. It is a process of slow entrenchment. Some other sites that can be used to track the buzz are BoardTracker.com, This is a site geared for monitoring discussion boards, and Buzzoo.net is all about Internet buzz. It tracks several visible sites to find stories that are hot right now.
In conclusion, make sure you have a strong marketing plan and stick to it. Make it work for your small business. Use all the tools available out there, and even some of the ones discussed here, to join in the conversation and start building and tracking your network for future growth.