SEO and Community: Like Peanut Butter & Jelly
Posted by jennita
More and more businesses and organizations of all sizes are realizing the importance of building an online community. I’m curious though, have you considered integrating SEO into your Community management, or even making sure you’re considering Community in your SEO tasks?
Now, usually when you think about SEO, you’re thinking about
Google searches, building links, creating good content, getting your content
shared, keyword research, crawlers, bots, indexation, and so on. You probably
have thought about the conversion funnel and getting people to buy your product
or sign up for your newsletter. But have you ever thought about how using your
SEO can help you actually build a community?
When it comes to community, you think customer service, blogging, user-generated content, forum threads, interacting on social media, industry events, and casual meetups. Essentially it’s all about the people, right?
But I want to talk about these two areas can work together
nicely. Not only is it important to build a community because they will help
you with your SEO, but you want to use your SEO to help find the community as
Combining your SEO and Community efforts means you’re
building relationships with people, not just ranking higher. You’re investing in your future by ensuring that you
have those brand advocates, link builders, content sharers, etc. for years to
come. Since it’s the people who promote you because they trust and like you
and/or your service, they’re the ones to focus on.
Not only will building a community help your SEO, but you’ll find the opposite true as well. Think about it, your future community members are the ones searching for you. How often have you
searched for a brand name, rather than going directly to their website? In a
previous job, we did usability studies and asked people to walk through various
scenarios. At the end of each one, we asked them to go back to the home page.
More than half of the users typed in the brand name in Google to get back to
the home page, rather than clicking the logo. INSANE right? But it happens.
Also, when you do your SEO right, you’ll attract the people who fit right into the community. For example, doing a search for “geeky family…” quickly brings up thinkgeek.com. That’s the *exact* type of person they’re looking for, and exactly what I’d like to see. 🙂
Who do you think is going to link to you? Yep, that would be
your community. They’re the “linkerati”, those folks who have blogs, own
companies, and they tweet, pin and circle.
Mmm hmmm. Links, shares, tweets, likes, etc.
Use Your Community to Improve Your SEO
Ok, you’re going to tell me “Yeah, it’s called Link Building,
Jen.” And you’re right! But the part that’s different is that you’re going to
focus on building a relationship with people. The content you create will be
what your community cares about and really wants to link to. That means you’re probably
going to have talk less about yourself.
One important piece in this is making sure you have someone
in charge of the community. You probably already have someone focused on SEO,
but what about your community? Kate Morris wrote a great post earlier this year
Best Link Building Tool in 2013: Community Manager. It’s so true! Get
someone to care about your SEO, Social, Community, and Content together (just one
person, or a team!), and you’re going to find that whole link building things
gets a bit easier.
Following are some tactics to build a relationship with your
community and get some great links from them at the same time:
Make it super easy to
This sounds pretty straightforward right? I mean, you’d
never actually put up great content then make it difficult for people to share,
right? Sadly, this happens more often than I’d like to think. It often occurs
when you have different people working on various aspects of a site. For
example, I’ve seen times when the Social person assumes the Developer obviously
knows to do this, and the SEO thinks the Social person will make sure it’s
done, and so on.
Or sometimes your CEO wants the only CTA on the page to be a subscribe to the blog via email button. ehem.
Not only do you want it to be easy, but also you want to
focus on sites that your community cares most about. I know I want a big easy
button to push, don’t make me think.
Focus your content on
what your community cares about.
It’s cool and all to put together an amazing piece of
content, but if *your*
community, the people who care about your brand, isn’t interested in it, then
you’re not getting the full potential from that content.
Take Mint.com for example. They have online software to help you do your finances… boooooring. But their blog is extremely …
You can read the full article at Moz Bloghttp://seopti.com/seo-and-community-like-peanut-butter-jelly/http://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/722f4199f6_51b011dee6ff67-94413491.jpghttp://seopti.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/722f4199f6_51b011dee6ff67-94413491-150x150.jpgSEOMOZ