I had the pleasure of having coffee this morning with a gShift client who gave me the idea to write this post. He told me that once his marketing team started focusing on the company’s entire web presence (not just the website), organic search traffic increased, leads increased and business increased. His team noticed a significant difference within a three-month time period.
The reason for this is that off-site content (content that your organization publishes and distributes on the web) is weighing more heavily into search algorithms. In December 2010 both Google and Bing announced that they are now factoring social signals into their algorithms.
SEO vs. WPO
The acronym SEO traditionally stands for one of two things: search engine optimization or search engine optimizer. The former is the process of improving visibility of a website or page in search engines, while the latter is the person who performs this process. (Wikipedia)
Traditionally an SEO strategy is executed and reported on by an SEO on a monthly basis.
Web presence optimization (WPO) is the process of optimizing all of your organization’s content across the entire web – Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, PR, directory listings, reviews, blogs – every single day for only the keywords that are going to generate conversions. (gShift Labs)
What would happen to your business if you were to execute WPO? What would the outcome be if you focused on getting found by your prospects instead of improving the visibility of a web page?
Start Doing WPO: 6 Steps
Here are six steps we recommend to start optimizing your web presence so you can be found by your prospects and start converting them into clients:
- Understand your digital footprint by taking inventory of your web presence. Before you can optimize you need to know what you’re dealing with. You will likely need technology to help accomplish this.
- Keyword research. Understand what keywords your prospects are using to find you, rather than what you think you should be ranking for. There’s a difference. You will likely need technology to help accomplish this step too.
- Balance your time optimizing both on-site and off-site content creation. This is accomplished by producing content in the form of blogs, press releases, directory listings, tweets, retweets, etc.
- Test your search results in YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Although the Google search box was the starting point of 12 billion of the 18 billion searches performed in March 2011, your prospects are also starting their searches elsewhere online. Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and search for keywords and phrases relevant to your industry in these other places. What are the results?
- Spend time crosslinking your social sites. For example, in Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pull in your blog posts and vice versa. This will help maximize your content reach and encourage sharing.
- Listen for your keywords in social media channels. Make use of Google Alerts, LinkedIn and Twitter Search to monitor online chatter. Participate by responding to conversations. This will give you a presence and create backlinks.
We believe WPO is the evolution of SEO. Those businesses that are committed to WPO will crush their competitors online.