Why Do Social Shares Matter?

Social media marketing plays an important supporting role in more traditional online marketing campaigns. But if this isn’t a mystical cure-all, how does social sharing help your business? Let’s take a look at 4 benefits of active social participation and promotion:

Manage Your Brand Reputation: How do I rank for my business name? How do I rank for my own name? How do I rank for my name in Google images? These are a few questions that many people/businesses find themselves asking. Creating well-optimized social media profiles is the most effective way to rank for your personal or company name. Did you know even sites like Vimeo, Flickr and Slideshare can help? Check out a complete post (complete with infographic) on Search Engine Land.

Expand Audience Reach: Social networks now allow you to further expand your social reach. Facebook allows for mass promotions using contests and other Like-bait, while it still works great on personal outreach. As a recent post on HubSpot shows, 50% of Facebook fans actually prefer Brand Pages to the actual company website itself! Think if what you’ll be missing without a Page!

Reap Intangible Benefits: Being active on social media sites is all about building up trust and therein lies the grand potential. Sometimes, intangible benefits are great because it can be hard to put a dollar amount on goals such as “enhancing brand experience” and “improved customer response”. These are things that should be continuously worked on and social media can help your business vastly improve over time.

Relationship to Penguin/Panda?: Although strong social signals can’t make your site immune to Google algorithmic updates (such as Panda or Penguin), many believe there is a connection between sites that got hit and their social presence. Generally, it makes sense that sites that got penalized had very low or no social shares. And sites with quality content that didn’t focus on acquiring unnatural links is generally more shareable. You can use Google analytics or social tools like How Many Shares to check out your site versus competitors and see how things match up. Social shares are important metrics because it means that your content is interesting, relevant and most of all, trustworthy. This is natural behavior that is likely to be rewarded which makes it something you should think about, instead of just primarily focusing on links and anchor text.

These are just a few examples of why social media is becoming more important. It’s not a part of online marketing that you can just ignore now but something you should think about to work alongside your content strategy.

Is Your Business Using Maps the Right Way?

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A website’s contact page is one of the most important things you can optimize. Many times, these pages aren’t properly optimized because let’s face it, how often do you see a company’s contact page/form in search engine results pages? Here are 2 ways you want to ensure maximum visibility and conversion:

Making it Easy for Humans
Having a map of your location shows that your business is real and tangible. Nowadays, virtual office spaces and other placeholder addresses are very common. The actual address of your physical storefront shows that you are a part of the community and a place that potential customers can check out if they please. Maps also have customer reviews and lead to your Google + Local business page. Even though this action leads them off-page, it helps provide credibility and trust.

Optimizing for Search Engines
We’ve talked about the importance of local citations before, so it’s no surprise that you can go the extra step and make your contact page more search engine friendly. Having a map shows a connection between your company and a physical location. Google also crawls other authoritative local listing sites and makes a connection to your address.  Using Schema.org’s code also helps search engines better read your address and categorize your business.

There’s nothing worse than landing on a contact page to find a generic form, an 800 number and a P.O. box address. If you have a real, physical location, it’s time to take advantage of that fact and differentiate yourself from competitors (especially in a field of professional services like SEO web design and internet marketing). And once again, don’t forget to optimize with maps!