The 2 Pillars of Success for SEO and Social Media

by · February 20, 201325 comments

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.

Boring blob of website text

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.

Google Analytics after being active & adding value in SEO & Social Media

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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”
  3. 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!

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About Arsham Mirshah

Arsham Mirshah

Arsham is a co-founder of WebMechanix, a SEO & Inbound Internet marketing agency near Baltimore, MD & Washington DC. Arsham is a technical SEO, Google Analytics junkie, & web developer who loves to ski, play tennis and demonstrate #SnowballingROI. Find Arsham on Google+ or Twitter!

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Keith Marshall

    Be active and add value. That’s simple and useful advice. 
    And it’s easy to remember. Good stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/RickPurdySays Richard / Rick Purdy

    Pareto’s Law, Occams Razor, Golden Rule….these things are highly valuable to the SEO, or at least to me.   With all of the articles and studies out there, we tend to complicate things. I think in our microwave society we don’t value the tried and true principles.  People prefer the sizzle to the steak.

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  • Josh Ewin

    Solid post, Sham. Perhaps a good follow up article would be a case study showing a real-world example of adding valuable content and engagement to the community.

    • http://www.seobywebmechanix.com Arsham Mirshah

      Fantastic idea Josh.. You will see several of those in the near future :)

  • Dara Khajavi

    This advice is so obvious and simple, but few businesses are actually active and add value. Many businesses have social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, but they do not take advantage of these accounts. The accounts are wasted and no connections are made with customers.

    • Haley Luttrell

      I agree.  I feel that a lot of social media interaction engagement is such a simple concept, but unfortunately few business leaders recognize the value.  Those companies will reform their thinking fairly quickly or will be left behind.  The world is a much smaller place and customers have no patience and are fickle….why?  because they can be.  If “you” aren’t doing it, you can bet your competitor is and for the consumer the grass is greener.

    • http://www.friedenzohn.com/ consultor seo

       You are absolutely right, it takes perseverance to make it to the top

  • Rwangchuk

    i know these things are obvious but most excellently put! thanks for sharing. as i am gaining more and more knowledge in the field of seo,  i am only getting inclined more and more, and though i have read many similar articles, yours have to be one of the simplest ones, nicely put. some follow up would be immensely appreciated! cheers 

  • http://www.facebook.com/tara.geissinger1 Tara Geissinger

    It is so important to have an editorial calendar! I won’t admit how many times I’ve thought “Oh, I need to write a blog post about that!” or even just “I’d like to finish up that eBook this month.” The act of sitting down — preferably with co-workers or partners who can hold each other accountable — and mapping out a publishing strategy is huge. Like you said, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Committing to publish one unique, well-written piece of ‘cornerstone’ content a month is an excellent starting point.

    Consistency is the key. We’ve all heard it, but for some reason the way you have it written out here makes it all seem really do-able. Great tips!

    • http://www.seobywebmechanix.com Arsham Mirshah

      Thanks Tara! 

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  • http://www.doitsocially.com/ Muhammad Adil

    Simple & nice ideas Arsham Mirshah!

    The publishing schedule is very effective thing but here is one very funny problem with me, I use to make schedules every month and then unable to follow it completely so I develop another schedule. :D HAHAHAHA. 

    Any solution to this problem Arsham?

    • http://www.seobywebmechanix.com Arsham Mirshah

      hahaha that would be a tough problem to solve my friend.. Maybe get some ghost writers and dedicate your time to making the outlines and editing the pieces?!

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  • http://www.agencyplatform.com/ Dave Thompson

    A great thought put in few and simple words. It’s all about how big and recognized one wants to be online and to be big and recognized one has to put in efforts. Asking open-ended questions is the key for active engagers and will surely lead them for getting the needed value.

  • http://www.leadsandappointments.com/ Anika Davis

    Such a great article. I absolutely agree that being active in social media should be the first thing to focused on. If you are active to your customers and your audience I believe that you can create a valuable content and success will fall into place.

    • http://www.seobywebmechanix.com Arsham Mirshah

      Thank you kindly :)

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  • http://www.lbwalton.com La Broi “LB” Walton

    Great, simple, and beneficial post.  A few other awesome pieces of technology to use is scoop.it, alltop, and google reader (where all your updates come in).  Then use something like Buffer and Hootsuite to help you in posting it without overwhelming your audience and to keep engaged with you audience on all networks.  

  • http://www.jabbrag.com/ nickie snyder

    Interesting post. Social media needs active participation; your regular posts will create discussions and will
    engage user participation.

    http://www.jabbrag.com/services/social-marketing.html

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  • lilyjoin

    You are absolutely right, it takes perseverance to make it to the top.
    java devlopment services