Lead Generation 101: Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing
What are the latest techniques and tools for marketing and advertising? Today, we just use new technologies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make a website show up on the first pages of the engines like Google when people search for what they want. And we use social media marekting to share opinions with others. But in reality marketing, advertising and SEO is all about one thing -- lead generation.
According to a report by the Kelly Group, the percentage of small and midsized home and trade-services businesses with websites will increase to 60 percent by 2010, up from 33 percent today.
What are the latest techniques and tools for marketing and advertising? Today, we use new technologies like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make a website show up on the first pages of the engines like Google when people search for what they want. Then there's Social Media Marketing (SMM). But in reality marketing, advertising and SEO is all about one thing -- lead generation.
There are basically two ways SEO works: website optimization and offsite via links directed to a website.
And the other trend, social media, shows that there are a number of consumer referral and home-services community sites like Craig's List or ServiceMagic. In addition, small business entrepreneurs are posting pages on MyFace, while creative talent post on pages in MySpace. Plus Twitter is gaining in popularity.
Customers are more sophisticated and demanding these days, and we all like to go online and chat about things. So in order to find you and your company, peroduct or service a combination of SEO and SMM targets people who are sharing ideas and opinions, and looking for what you might be selling.
It is like the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" in that social media is the online way that we share ideas, opinions and insights, with others. There are online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities, while social media includes an assorted array of online communications hubs driven by users: Internet forums, message boards, blogs, podcasts, wikis, and videos. there's also music and picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, and instant messaging. All of these are new outlets for marketing.
SMM includes offsite optimization strategies with the intent of distributed content across multiple social media networks. We can add links to services such as Digg, Del.icio.us or Readdit. Marketers can write unique content embedded with key words and phrases, so when people search online, there's a better chance of finding your content via the search engines like Google.
SMM is about being social so this offsite work includes research, and a social media strategy with specific tactics for having two way conversations with target audiences. So it's important to get content out there and create pages that provide links back to your website. This ultimately will build traffic, and bring you return on investment (ROI.)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristin Gabriel is writer and Los Angeles search engine marketing consultant . Her company, MarCom New Media, also handles social media marketing, public relations, and online advertising. Visit MarComNewMedia.com