One of the most rewarding – and yet most fickle – aspects of Search Engine Optimisation, is something some people in the industry call Social Media Optimisation. What this amounts to is engaging more with your online audience. That might be through a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, enthusiasts’ forums, etc. Often it is hard to find the time to engage with your audience, but doing so is becoming more and more important to a solid SEO strategy.
So where do you start? Google’s search engine is clearly a good place to start looking for sites that use the keywords you are interested in (competitors’ web sites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts etc.) and Yahoo’s site explorer will help you research your competitor’s engagement with the online community (through links to their sites).
But how do you stay engaged and keep up with the latest developments? Enter Google Alerts: http://www.google.com/alerts. Google Alerts will scan for search terms that you feed it, and email you when it sees new pages on the web that use those terms: websites, blogs or news. It is almost like running a web search on a daily (or weekly basis) showing only new results that have come up since your last search. Be sure to check Google’s help pages to see how to specify the searches to pin down exactly the results you are after.
Don’t forget to:
- Search for your own brand to see if it is being talked about
- Search for terms such as hack, hacked, sex, and other rude words against your OWN website specifically. A useful warning to you in case your website gets hacked. e.g.
hack OR hacked OR sex site:websanity.co.uk
- Monitor and fine tune over time
It is often a struggle to find time to dedicate to SEO, but this tool will boost your productivity by feeding you market intelligence and helping you to focus on where to engage with your online audience.