Organic search results are those sites that the search engine finds and the order in which the search engine prefers similar or related sites. Web site owners sometimes spend a great deal of time and effort tweaking the search results to improve their site’s placement in search results.
To improve organic search result placement, some sites have turned to social media as a way to drive desirable traffic to their site and valuable information to their consumers. Social media optimization is a general term for a variety of Web- or Internet-oriented services that encourage Web site users to form communities, pass product information to interested consumers, and generate new interest in products and services from previously unknown prospects.
Social media can include blogging, Face book groups, MySpace pages, Twitter, Digg, Stumble upon, Squidoo lenses and other types of media that invite user participation in a community of interested users.
Social media is valuable in terms of its ability to improve search engine placement because many social media services include RSS feeds that inform users (and search engines) of newly published content. Additionally, sites like Face book and MySpace enjoy high rankings in the search engines in the first place. It’s very easy to “piggyback” onto their already high search engine ranking with a page or group that publicizes a niche product, service or site.
Social media also builds customer and brand loyalty. The low-cost self-publishing tools mean that even small businesses that cater to niche audiences can compete effectively with the “big guys” in a shared market space. By focusing on niche terms, keywords, and tags that are likely to be used by their most sought-after customers, sites can improve their organic search results.
One major advantage of social media is that interested prospects and consumers “self-identify.” With traditional advertising, businesses create an ad campaign and run it where they believe their users are most likely to congregate. With social media, businesses create a place for interested users to congregate and then tailor extremely specific marketing information to an already receptive audience. Social media tools can help users find the exact products and services they’re interested in at the moment they’re ready to search.