We know the web places a heavy emphasis on SEO, but what about the social web? Social SEO strategies are the most overlooked of all online marketing strategies. When it comes to social SEO, here’s what you need to know…

Google pretty much has a monopoly on SEO. Sure, there are other search engines, but Google names the game and sets the rules. So when Google introduced a Google Social Search last year, you know it created a parallel playing field within social networks. The bad news is, you have another thing to think about. The good news is, you no longer need to toil away trying to bump your site up in search engine rankings. Google Social Search means that social sharing has the power to up your ranking in the way that traditional SEO used to. This means that one social share, especially from a powerful nationally recognized site, can do for you one instant that you couldn’t do for yourself in years. It can take you from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the page. This is especially good news for newcomers who know have a shot at the big guys who’ve been at it for years with much bigger budgets. What it also means is that social network uses isn’t something to ignore or dabble with. You’ve got to be an active and aggressive user.

Of course, since Google launched Google+, and since Google of course owns Google, you can bet Google+ is a pretty important platform – even though it’s otherwise unfavored by users. So while you may (or may not) dislike using Google+, you probably should start using it to get a jump start with social SEO. This means being active and here’s why. First, whatever you share on social networks turns up in your follower’s feeds regardless of whether or not they subscribe to that network. Another aspect of social SEO strategies involves sharing content. Great content always gets shared within and outside your circles, which means increased search engine ranking benefits and instant social boost – especially if your post gets picked up by popular users.

Recognizing that Google sits at the foundation of social SEO is just one step, but a big step. There’s are more layers to the full spectrum of social SEO, layers that will undoubtedly get added on to as social grows more complex. Catalyst Search Marketing came up with a great Social SEO Strategies downloadable PDF. According to them, “Facebook has more than 1 billion users, YouTube more than 800 million, Twitter more than 500 million, and Google+ more than 400 million. With such massive usage of social platforms, the search engines are incorporating social signals into their search results in ever-increasing volumes and depth. SEO by its very nature now requires the integration of social strategies.” Based on that simple, powerful reasoning, their team has formulated a complete guide to a comprehensive strategy that includes the following factors:

  1. What is Social SEO
  2. How Social SEO Works
  3. Why Social SEO Matters
  4. Preparing Your Social SEO Campaign
  5. Learning the Three Pillars of Social SEO
  6. Defining Your Social SEO Strategy
  7. Selecting Your Social SEO Performance Metrics
  8. Building Your Social SEO Team
  9. Setting Up Your Social SEO Campaign
  10. Social Network Tactics & Social Network Tools/Automation

If you’re still uncertain about the impact social has on search, consider sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, where what gets said on those sites remains available search engines. So whether or not you’re incorporating social SEO into your online business marketing, you can rest assured your clients are doing it on your behalf.