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Unlocking Growth: Steve Ice's SEO and Branding Wisdom on DesignRush

For "Brand Marketing Strategy Guide (2023)" by DesignRush, Steve Ice from Binary Glyph Media contributes insights on combining data-driven analysis with authentic storytelling to captivate audiences and enhance brand engagement. This comprehensive guide explores various aspects of brand marketing, offering actionable strategies to create a compelling narrative for your brand. Explore more on DesignRush.

In "Affordable SEO Services for Small Business," also featured on DesignRush, Steve Ice shares his expertise on the crucial role of local SEO for small businesses. He advises on strategies such as detailed keyword research and optimization for mobile users, highlighting the importance of local engagement and visibility on platforms like Google My Business. Learn more about optimizing your SEO strategy on DesignRush.

combine SEO and social media marketing

SEO and social media can be more reliable marketing tools when used together. Here is how you can combine SEO and social media for your marketing strategy.

Businesses with a clear vision for their SEO and social media strategy are five times more likely to reach their goals. To do so, you need a coherent plan for optimization via SEO and social media.

The in-depth guide below provides insights on SEO, social media marketing, and how to combine the two for maximized business potential. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is the practice of optimizing your website content to rank higher on search engines. This primarily includes Google, but also Bing, Yahoo, and MSN. 

SEO is critical to enable prospective customer discovery! If you ignore SEO, prospective customers will never find you. If they don't know your business exists, how can you expect to make any sales? 

The goal of SEO is to have your website on the first page of a search query. The ultimate goal is to have your website rank above all other sites as most people click the first link. This will maximize your link impressions and click-through rates.

It also increases the chances that people will convert as they are the ones coming to you. 

What Makes a Good Keyword?

SEO is primarily achieved through primary and secondary keyword optimization. A person types a search query into Google or other search engines. Their keyword search connects with sites optimized for that content.

The best keywords have low competition and a high search volume. 

You can check a keyword's search volume and competition using different keyword tools like the Google Keyword planner. Most businesses make the mistake of trying to rank for the most obvious keyword. 

For example, the keyword "wedding venues" has a high search volume (To reach lots of people). It is not a good keyword because it also has very high competition.

"Wedding venues in Fort Lauderdale" is a solid keyword because it has a high search volume but low competition. Low competition increases your chances of ranking high on a search and thus the outcome that people will click your link.

What Are the Benefits of SEO?

The main benefit of SEO is connecting already interested customers with your website. Unlike an advertisement, SEO connects your content with organic searches. If done right, people find what they are looking for in the search results. 

SEO also empowers you to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Ranking high gives your site a sense of credibility. If your content is optimized for customer queries it helps build trust.

In the long run, these searches turn into subscribers, followers, and revenue-generating customers. 

Additional benefits of SEO include:

  • Ranking higher on search engines
  • More impressions
  • Increased site visitors
  • Increased subscribers (if you have a mailing list)
  • Attract local consumers (for brick-and-mortar shops)
  • Reach revenue targets

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the process of generating brand awareness via social media. There are dozens of social media platforms. Each one requires a different strategy.

It can be overwhelming for a brand to be on all of these platforms. With a dedicated social media marketing agency, brand managers handle all accounts for you, so you can focus on growing your business.

Social media marketing involves creating content for different purposes. Sometimes the goal is revenue and other times it's about fostering community. The ultimate goal is to use social media for prospects to connect with your brand in the long run.

What Are the Benefits of Social Media Marketing?

Social media is universal. It is free to join. And anyone and everyone is on social media. 

Social media marketing offers the opportunity for long-term organic growth. Businesses such as Curie have generated six revenue figures in their second year using social media marketing alone. 

Instagram and Facebook are even integrating shopping tools on social media. So not only is it an excellent place to market your business, but customers can now complete their entire checkout without ever leaving their feed. 

Additional benefits of social media marketing include:

  • Community development
  • Real-time analytics
  • Ability to "go viral" and maximize revenue
  • Test product-market fit
  • Find new target markets
  • Display different personalities of your business
  • Collaborate with brand and influencers

Social media can rapidly grow your business. It requires a well-curated strategy. The algorithms today make it harder to grow, but it is not impossible.

Why You Need Both SEO and Social Media Marketing Together

Focusing on SEO or social media marketing alone will hold your business back. You need both SEO and social media to see changes. SEO allows you to connect with people who are already searching for what you offer.

Social media is a powerful way to connect with people who share similar interests and might become interested in your offerings. Leveraging brings a variety of traffic from unique sources. 

Integrating them both provides more authority. Social media marketing will draw more site visitors. More site visitors increase your website's trust score, thus causing it to rank higher.

Ranking higher means more SEO searches will click on your site. These people might buy and also follow you on social media. Then they can share what they bought by tagging your brand. This is just an example of how the link between SEO and social media marketing is symbiotic.

In the succeeding sections, we'll discuss some ways to implement SEO and social media marketing. We'll also share four ways to combine them for maximum results. 

Five Ways to Implement SEO

SEO is a long-haul strategy. Usually, results of SEO take two to six months to start generating organic traffic. This is because website crawlers have to crawl your website and index it.

This process is long for search engines. Start implementing the SEO strategies below as soon as possible. The longer you put off SEO, the fewer opportunities you'll have to rank first and capture market share.

All of the five strategies below are best used in conjunction, not exclusively.

1. Blogging

Blogging is the most influential SEO tool. You can incorporate your keywords throughout your text to generate higher search results.

As mentioned above you'll need to include "good keywords" to rank. Find high search, low competition keywords. Also, pick two or more secondary keywords. There is a calculated formula to then inject these keywords throughout your article. 

You'll need to incorporate your primary keyword into your:

  • Introduction
  • Header
  • Conclusion
  • Body
  • Title 
  • Blog description

You'll also want to add your secondary keywords in the body text. This formula is not arbitrary. It is designed to make it easier for web crawlers to find your content and link it with relevant search queries. 

Make sure to be specific with your blogs, but not too niche. For example, a broad blog would be "What to do in Rome." This is too vague and difficult to rank for.

A good blog subject is "The Best Pasta Restaurants in Rome for Seafood." This is an excellent topic as it is specific but not too niche. Generate keyword research around your specific topic and then start writing!

2. Product Descriptions

If a blog doesn't suit your website, there are still other opportunities to incorporate relevant keywords. One of the next best options is in your product descriptions. 

Vague descriptions like "silk shirt" will only get your product lost in the mix of the other 1,250,000 silk shirts. Add some specifics to your product title and descriptions.

Use keyword planners and sites like Quora and Reddit to see what kinds of products people are searching for. Then frame your title around the most relevant yet under-addressed searches. 

3. Alt Text

Alt text is a short line of text used to denote what is in an image. Alt text is read by screen readers for the visually impaired. It provides them with the independence to connect with brands online and learn more about their products and offerings.

Alt text is another field that is searched and indexed by crawlers. Adding copy to your alt text fields, including your primary keyword, will help your brand rank higher via SEO.

4. Image File Name

Did you know the file names of your product and hero imagery impact your SEO?

Make sure your file is not named "screenshot_1234567." Failing to change image file names is a missed SEO opportunity. Like everything else on your site, these images are indexed based on their keywords.

You'll want to include a primary keyword in your image files. going back to the silk shirt example, you might name a picture of your blouse "longsleevesilkblouseinorchid." When someone searches "long sleeve silk blouse" or a variation of that phrase, your indexed image file name will connect.

This increases the chances of your product imagery being shown and users connecting and purchasing from your brand.

5. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions exist for your website and individual blog posts. They are 160 characters or fewer snippets of text. They provide an intro or summary of the webpage content.

Think of it as a one-liner for your blog post or website. It should be enticing and explain to visitors what exactly you do or what a blog post is about. Meta descriptions should hook visitors in and encourage them to click on the link above them.

Meta descriptions also are, you guessed it, an SEO opportunity! Make sure to plug in your primary keyword into the first 50 words of your meta description!

Five Ways to Grow on Social Media Platforms

Unlike SEO, social media provides the opportunity for short-term growth. That is not to say that all social growth is rapid. It just means that with social media marketing, brands have more control over how quickly they grow rather than relying on a search index.

You can leverage bespoke content creation, giveaways, influencers, press, and social sharing to expand rapidly. There is also the opportunity for organic and paid marketing via social media. 

Overall spend on marketing must be between 1%-9% to generate traction. This can involve paid social ads in addition to the cost of gifting to the press and influencers. Below are some cost-effective ways to generate growth via social media marketing.

1. Video Content

Ever since the mass adoption of TikTok in 2020, video is the way of the future. Brands need to get on the video bandwagon to survive on social media today. It is no longer optional, but a requirement.

Today the average child spends one and half hours scrolling through TikTok. The number isn't that different for working adults. Besides being somewhat addicting, video content reals consumers in. 

You can quickly show them your brand, and your product, and share with them the value of making a purchase. 

2. Cross Promote

Social media marketing can be simplified with an effective cross-promotion strategy. This involves recycling content across different platforms.

This strategy is beneficial for two reasons. First, it saves you time. 

Instead of making new content for each platform, you reuse the same videos and photos. Just make sure to optimize individual posts to match the dimensions and market of each platform.

The other benefit of recycling content and cross-promoting is the ability to A/B test. A/B testing involves comparing two variations of the same media and testing just one variable. In the case of cross-promotion, the variable you are testing is the platform.

If you post the same video on TikTok and Instagram reels and one gets 1,000 views and the other gets 300,000, then you can start to make a hypothesis about your product-market fit.  

Maybe the younger TikTok audience connects more. Maybe the lower price point is suited to Gen Z TikTokers over Instagram millennials. 

With these assumptions, you can continue to test theories and strategically market. You can then continue pushing a product on a relevant platform where it is performing well, instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole.

3. Collaborate With Other Brands

Social media is a great tool to study competition. It's an even better tool to join them.

If you are a smaller brand starting, find established brands that share the same target demographic as you. This doesn't need to be direct competitors. 

For example, athletic giant, Nike, just collaborated with French designer, Jacquemus. This helped generate even more awareness for the relatively young designer. It also gave loyal Nike customers the chance to shop innovative styles, unlike the traditional hyper-athletic products. 

Doing so generated a buzz around both brands which led to the collection selling out in one day. 

Collaborations can be as simple as an Instagram takeover, sharing a post, or doing a joint giveaway. 

4. Influencer Giftings

Similar to collaborating with like-minded brands, it's a tried and true social media marketing strategy to work with influencers. Influencers are the social media industry. 

There are micro, small, medium, and mega influencers with followings ranging from 1,000 up to the double millions. 

Some influencers will organically share your brand and tag you. Others will expect a gifted product and mega influencers expect a product and a paycheck. It's vital to do your research before working with an influencer.

Followings and likes are vanity metrics. Ask them about their engagement rates and determine if their collaborations have led to growth and sales for other brands. 

5. Push People to Save Your Content

Unfortunately due to the saturation of people on social media, algorithms are always changing. Companies do this to make it harder for accounts to grow. This results in brands immediately opting for paid social media ads due to the frustration in growth attempts.

Currently saved posts are big on Instagram. It shows the algorithm that your content offers value. Thus it pushes this content forward and more people end up viewing it.

Other tactics that remain effective on all social platforms are:

  • Reshares
  • View counts
  • Likes and comments
  • Hashtag strategy
  • Collaboration and tags

Combination Strategies for Using SEO and Keywords Across Social Media Posts

SEO and social media are not mutually exclusive. They need to occur simultaneously to maximize results. The strategies above showcase how to use SEO and social media individually to gather traction.

But what happens when SEO and social media are used in conjunction? The result is reaching the right people at the right moment and experiencing rapid growth. Read below on four strategies you can start implementing now to combine your SEO and social media marketing skills.

1. Make Sure Your Profile Descriptions and Captions Are Relevant 

Even social media has its form of SEO. The text throughout your social media impacts how and when your account appears on in-app searches. For example, if someone searches "Portland Pizza" and your bio header are such, they'll be shown and directed to your bio via local SEO.

Captions are a useful way to leverage this in-app SEO feature and connect with queries related to your offering. That is why it is so important to include a caption in every post. Your captions should inform SEO but still be in your brand voice whether that is educational, funny, or mysterious. 

2. Add Text to Your Videos

Text in your videos like Reels and TikToks tells users what your videos are about. 80% of video users are more likely to watch a video if captions are available. 

You can use the same SEO strategies for your social media that you do for your website. Insert your primary keyword in-video text, captions, and hashtags. Make sure to use text that isn't basic and overused.

Not only does this boost your connection with relevant searches, but for people watching without sound, it engages them and motivates them to still watch your video. 

3. Research and Strategically Use Hashtags (These Are Your Social Keywords!)

Hashtags are the SEO of social media. While they sometimes seem ridiculous or outdated, they remain an important part of an effective social media strategy.

Businesses usually get frustrated with hashtags because they don't put in the effort to find the right ones. Like a good keyword, a good hashtag will have a high search volume but low competition. 

In this case, low competition means a lower number of hashtags used (around 1,000 to 50,000 is a good starting point). Trying to get your post to show up in a hashtag that has 4,000,000 posts is like finding a needle in a haystack. 

With a lower post count, your post is more likely to stand out. It can also show up as the "most liked" or "most recent" post, which is the equivalent of ranking first on social media.

4. Hyperlink Your Website

As mentioned, boosting the traffic and time spent on your website boost the trust of search engines. This increases your chances of ranking higher via SEO.

Hyperlinking your website on social media is a passive way to send social media traffic to your website. Not only does this help your SEO strategy, but it simplifies the process for interested consumers.

When you make it easy for them to find your product they are more likely to stay engaged and make a purchase at the moment. Use linking features throughout social media.

Add a hyperlink to your website or Linktree for your profile bio. You can also link in Instagram stories, YouTube videos, Twitter, and more. Make sure to also tag products.

Combine SEO and Social Media for a Winning Digital Marketing Strategy

SEO and social media go hand in hand. A solid SEO strategy will bring organic traffic to your website. SEO alone can generate thousands of monthly pageviews for your website without spending a dime on advertising. 

Social media marketing helps boost engagement and gets potential consumers to take immediate action with your brand whether it be via a purchase, like, or follow. Over time you can convert these followers into customers.

Maximizing the return of SEO and social marketing is all about strategy. Without the right keywords, influencers, and optimized content all this effort can fall flat.

Outsource an objective lens and have a dedicated staff for your SEO and social media marketing strategies. Learn more about how we can help your brand maximize SEO and social media marketing with a free digital marketing consultation!

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