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BizReport : Search Marketing : July 10, 2013

Social media integration key to SEO success

The key takeaway from a recent study of the role of social in SEO strategy is that, while social content ranks well on search engines, few companies effectively integrate the two and are putting search visibility at risk.

by Helen Leggatt

Most online journeys, and purchases, begin with search. More and more, consumers are looking for reviews and feedback to help them make a purchase decision.

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by Dimensional Research and sponsored by ZenDesk, found that the vast majority of consumers (90%) claimed reading online reviews had a positive effect on buying decisions. Similarly, 86% said they were influenced by negative reviews.

Many consumers find reviews on social media sites, such as Facebook or TripAdvisor, through using a search engine. But what if a company hasn't integrated social media into SEO strategies? According to new research from Ascend2, SEO success now relies heavily on social and PR integration.

Last month, the research agency surveyed around 600 business and marketing professionals from countries around the world. Each was asked to rate their company's SEO success.

When the answers from the 15% who stated their company was "very successful" and the 18% that said their company was "not successful" were compared, an interesting finding emerged. The most obvious difference between two extremes was that the successful companies were integrating social media with SEO strategy, while the unsuccessful companies were not.

Thirty-eight percent of the "very successful" companies extensively integrated social media with SEO, compared with just 2% of those "not successful". Furthermore, half of the unsuccessful respondents did not integrate social media at all.

Overall, Ascend2's 'SEO Strategy Outlook Report' (registration) found that most companies employ a "limited" social media and SEO integration strategy (59% of B2B and 63% of B2C), while 13% of both B2B and B2C companies have in place "extensive" integration. A quarter of B2C and 29% of B2C companies have not integrated the two tactics.

Tags: consumer feedback, marketing strategy, online reviews, search marketing, SEO, social media, social strategy

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