SEO is a "Window," not a Destination

As ever in social media, there is an ongoing argument – this one about the importance, or non-importance, of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in your social media efforts.  Those on the “pro” side stating that without SEO you will never receive traffic to your Web site, and those on the “con” side countering that SEO does not allow you to be truly engaging in your communications and that it’s just “gaming Google” and selling products like ScribeSEO. I tend to look for a middle ground.  SEO can play a part in your social media planning, but without additional communications streams, be it blog posts or other engaging modes, SEO is worthless.  Gearing every post with special SEO rules and ignoring the fact that your readers are mostly regular people who are checking your site out. And SEO does help when you are working in tags, such as YouTube, or even tagging blog posts.

My take on this is simple, yet as complex as you wish to make it.

SEO gives your reader a glimpse through the window of your house.

Reader engagement (including social networking engagement) invitingly opens the door for them,

Compelling and storytelling content keeps them returning for more.

All need to be in balance, all need to be approached in different ways – depending on your needs. Providing your social media communications a level of harmony that people find irresistible.

BH

Author: Benson Hendrix

Benson Hendrix, APR has been called everything from a “social media zen warrior” to the ” ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper of Public Relations,” and from a “behind the scenes powerbroker,” to “the loudmouth PR love child of Henry Rollins and Anthony Bourdain,” but doesn’t really believe any of it (except maybe the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper part). Hendrix is the Social Media Manager for the University of New Mexico and loves helping organizations and people tell the stories that are important to them. He is also an adjunct social media instructor at the University of New Mexico, and the Social Media Strategist for TEDxABQ. In the few minutes a week he calls "spare time," he relaxes with his wife and chases his dream to be a better photographer.

2 thoughts on “SEO is a "Window," not a Destination”

  1. Benson, how true! Many of us have seen SEO (which is important) overshadow true social engagement – and what a shame that is! I will admit that it is enticing – especially for us Type A, rank-driving over-achievers to try to climb to the top of the SEO stats. But without the ability to find the delicate equipoise between SEO and SM, it is easy to forget the outcome of your engagement.

    Your timely comment hits the hospitality folks when a controversial disclose was made by the popular TripAdvisor site. Many hotels bought ads on TripAdvisor assuming it would help their SEO rankings, just to find out later that isn’t the case.

    I completely agree with you, Benson, that you must try to find the middle ground – which is difficult when the ground keeps moving!

    Great post, thank you!

    Diana Driscoll

  2. Benson,

    As usual, you are right on; I had a few more thoughts.

    I think that SEO does have its place in writing engaging copy. Sometimes I think that it helps to have a certain structure to work within, like writing a poem with a proven form, that allows you to refine your message around what people are really searching for and to tailor your storytelling around that. Granted, like any real art, it helps to be able to have a foot in each world (in this case the spider and verby world) but that’s what makes a truly great copy writer worth more than your standard SEO firm.

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