If the idea of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to frighten, confuse, or annoy you just a little bit, we come bearing good news: you're already engaging in SEO without even realizing it. If your solar company has a social media presence, your profile, shares, and actions are automatically impacting search rankings. Today we'd like to explain why that is and how your company can make the most of it.
Recent Developments in SEO
There's been a lot of buzz recently in the digital marketing world around the future of SEO. Some people are claiming that SEO as we knew it is dead, while others argue it's simply evolving. We tend to side with the latter camp and for clues as to why that is we must turn to Google. The search giant rolled out its Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013 which had a profoundly impacted digital marketing and content creation. In short, the update enables Google to better handle "conversational" search queries - the kinds of queries you'd quickly type into their search box on your cell phone.
We won't go into greater detail about the ins-and-outs of the update; rather, we'll simply say this: the Hummingbird update should act as a further impetus for solar companies to embrace SEO and all that comes with it, namely original content. The update fits a long pattern of previous moves by Google to rid the Web of spam, article repurposing
Which brings us back to solar social SEO. , content farms, and other tricks used by people to try and scam the system and artificially boost search rankings. Those days are over. Essentially, the update is bad news for spammers and good news for content creators.
Social Activity Boosts SEO
Social media discussions and comments epitomizes the idea of "conversational" content. At the same time, unique photos and articles, coupled with shares and comments by real-live people, tell Google's algorithms that first, a real-live human is creating this content, and second, that real-live humans are responding to the content. All of this comes together to help boost your SEO efforts.
As a result, your social media presence must be predicated on things like original content, strong and informative profiles, reciprocity (sharing follower content) and ongoing engagement with users.
So what else can you do dial up your solar social SEO efforts?
- Research suggests the greater your social media footprint, the better. That is, to reach a greater audience many companies must be active on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. In fact, the latter platform is particularly important - content that is shared through Google+ winds up personalizing users' search results because they're searching on Google.
- Publish blogs that portray your company as an authority on solar-related issues.
- Socially engage with other leaders and partners in the solar industry.
- Adopt an editorial calendar where you post blogs on a regular basis. Content can range from the customer-focused (lower-priced residential panels) to industry analysis (the consolidation of major solar players.)
- Have a guest blogger to provide a different voice and access to a new audience.
At the end of the day, there aren't any magic bullets or secret tricks to maximize your SEO impact. Instead, the best thing for solar companies to focus on is to simply maintain a steady, engaged and customer-focused social media presence.