For years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been almost exclusively reserved for websites. Brand managers paid SEO consultants big bucks to get their websites ranked as high as possible in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Now, with Google’s almost daily product expansion, the emergence of digital PR and a number of new deals between the various search engines and social media platforms, optimizing everything that you create digitally has become a critical step in getting your message out and your voice heard.
The purpose of this post is to give a general overview of a few things other than web content that you should be looking to optimize with keywords.
Press Releases – The days of blast-faxing a press release are well behind us and submitting a release to an online distribution service like PR Newswire has become almost as popular a tactic as emailing the release. The bigger online distribution services can be expensive, but they offer you the best chance of getting seen and almost certainly will get your press release listed higher in search engines than the smaller services. Keyword optimization is very important in writing a press release that you intend to submit online. These days, the search engines crawl submitted releases just like a website and the results show up in news searches and often in general web searches. This offers you a chance to reach a targeted, captive audience with your news. Be sure you include in your release the key terms that you would expect your audience to be searching with.
Blog Posts – Much like online press releases, most search engines now include blogs as part of their web search. This makes keyword inclusion in your blog posts so important. Make sure you include key words and phrases in your posts and also in your post tags and categories so your target audience will be able to find you when they are searching for those terms.
Social Media Updates – Over the past year, the major search engines have been making deals with Twitter, Facebook and others that allow them to crawl the social networks and return search results. Generally speaking, if you Tweet it or post it, it will show up in Google and Bing. This may be an issue for privacy freaks, but presents an enormous opportunity for branding. Making sure you are Tweeting and Posting about topics important to your target audience and containing keywords and phrase they would be searching for has never been more important. It may sound crazy, but yes, you do have to optimize in 140 characters!
Foursquare Shoutouts – Foursquare allows the user to send a checkin to Twitter and Foursquare who, as mentioned earlier, are crawled by Search Engines. Thus, if you include a message (shoutout) with your checkin that is keyword optimized, you have just created another way to get your content Search Engine Optimized.
LinkedIn Profiles – LinkedIn is a hugely popular social media platform for professionals. While some people see it as another tool in looking for a new job, marketers see it as a SEO goldmine. LinkedIn profiles show up in search results, so constructing your page correctly presents a nice additional opportunity to reach your target audience. Optimize your Summary, Experience and Additional Info sections by including key words and phrases.
Videos and Images – Whenever you upload multimedia make sure you do more than just post a picture or video. Search engines have made significant advances in image and video search. Add a caption or alt tag that includes keywords and name your file using keywords. You’ll be amazed at the increase in traffic these small steps will provide your site or social network.
As you can see, its all about including keywords. Hopefully, this little rundown will give you a bit of homework, and in time, will lead to more content sharing. As we all know, technology changes by the day, so keep your eyes and ears open for more opportunities for Search Engine Optimization in the future!