Social Media SEO & Case Study

Social Media SEO Strategy Guide & Case Study

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Looking for a social media marketing guide or case study? Wondering if social signals improve SEO rankings overtime? Or perhaps you’d like to know how to get started with the big social sites like Facebook and Google Plus? If so, grab a cup of something, we’re diving deep!

Part One:
Social Media SEO – Out with the Old & In with the New

Old School SEO: It’s Time to WAKE UP!

My name is Brian G. Johnson, your typical geekster. I play with websites, publish books to Amazon Kindle, create products and have been a full time online marketer since 2003. Early in my career, I focused primarily on Google SEO as well as affiliate marketing and was able to crush it (thanks for that, by the way, Mr. VAY NER CHUK) year after year.

As Google changed and updated, so did my methods and the cashola payday rolled on. However, it was a bumpy ride. Some of the infamous updates that I personally experienced included:

  • Introduction of the Google NO-Follow update in 2005
  • Google Supplemental Update in November of 2006
  • Google Caffeine in August of 2009
  • Google May Day in 2010
  • Introduction of Google Panda / Farmer Update in 2011
  • Plethora of Google Panda Updates in 2011, including 2.0, 2.1 & 2.3
  • Google Penguin in April of 2012

And this is where most old school SEOs were kicked to the curb. By 2010 the game had changed drastically. By 2012 it was no longer the same game at all. In spite of all that, far too many people are still playing “old school” SEO, and friend, let me tell you ..

Al Pacio, WAKE UP TIME!

<al pacino>

… you betta WAKE UP!
This ain’t your grand papa’s SEO no more!

<al pacino>

In the summer of 2011 I saw it coming and knew it was time to get on board with new strategies and tactics that would keep me afloat. With that in mind, this blog post will serve as an SEO case study with its focus on extremely simple and easy-to-implement social marketing strategies that have resulted in impressive, check it out.

Google rankings:

SEO Case Study Results - Google Rankings

Note: Pay attention to both the PA AND DA MOZ scores, these are SEO metrics from MOZ (leading search marketing site) for both the page and domain authority. I will break down these metrics and how you can acccess a free toolbar which will allow you to get these metrics and thus allow you to understand just how authoritative a domain and page are according to Moz.com

MOZ PA: 19
MOZ DA: 28

Google Analytics from January 22, 2014

seo-referral-traffic-case

Google search traffic of 226 for January 22cnd, notice the traffic from both Facebook and Google+ (more social impact soon) as well as many other sites including optimizepress.com, aidanbooth.com and mywebsearch.com. Traffic from a variety of trusted sites improves overall trust rank and thus Google rankings over time. Also note, these results and the ever-growing flow of Google traffic to my site was achieved with:

  • No link building
  • No complex software
  • No black or grey hat trickery

Coveting, my site is not just driving traffic, but converting my traffic into leads. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, the money is in the list and that is half true. According to Frank Kern, the money is in the value you bring to your list (and I fully concur)!

Free Leads Flow to From Google Into My Aweber Account
That makes me want to sing that crazy winning song by Charlie Sheen!

build-list-get-money

This was all achieved by focusing on two social sites and leveraging some simple tactics that I’ll share as we move forward. If you’re simply not able to drive traffic via Google, this blog post is the remedy you’ve been looking for.

Looking Forward:  Facebook & Google Plus Guide

During 2012 and 2013, my primary focus was on to be able to drive highly target traffic from a variety of web properties (Amazon via Kindle and Facebook), this still remains my focus and that is my Google+ is now in my sights. While working on this very post on January 22, 2014, I’m floored to realize just how many marketers are missing the boat on when it comes to the power of Google Plus.

If you have yet to jump in, perhaps you think that “spending time” on Google Plus makes no sense because all your friends, family and partners are already on Facebook. However, this could not be farther from the truth. Google Plus is already giving an edge to many marketers and as we move forward, I will tell you exactly why I’m all in.

Let’s get started as I have much to share.

Simplified Social Media SEO Guide & Case Study

Before I go all geekster on you with social tactics, we need to back up, let’s talk about the why. Why did I launch this very site and what was my primary goal? The goal was and is to establish this site as an authority within my niche and to increase the visibility of this site across many social web properties such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and from trusted authority sites within my niche. I would accomplish this by simply marketing the content of this site and pushing traffic to it. This would give me a platform, allow me to build my list and have impact.

The list is critical and I highly suggest that you focus on your existing list or begin to building one as soon as possible. Rather than worrying about your tinny tiny list, focus on how responsive those people on the list really are. Do that by creating content that matters and adds value for others — plain and simple. If you are unable to do that, then understand that no tactic, strategy, plugin, mentors or newfangled methods will deliver the success you’re after.

This is a long term play. While there are a number of strategies that can produce results quickly, understand that once you focus on value and you take care of people, your ability to get results will increase dramatically with time. I suggest that you choose a niche market that you’ve got personal experience with. This will make the process of sharing content that matters much easier and you will be able to connect with people much more readily.

That is what online marketing is all about — connections — because those without connections will always struggle. Furthermore, your niche selection should be based on a topic that has a large, rabid consumer base that spends on digital products including info products, software, online services, eBooks and more. There are plenty of them online! Just take a look at the Non Fiction Amazon Kindle Marketplace for confirmation.

Think:

  • Weight Loss
  • Digital Photography
  • Fitness & Health
  • Software
  • Forex
  • Cooking / Recipes
  • Web Development
  • SEO
  • Affiliate Marketing

Before you buy a domain; install WordPress, have a clear vision of how your site will operate in the future and you need to understand how the site will generate income. Your website will be your marketing hub, it will be the center of your activities and you will market your site across big social properties that matter (just as I have been doing over the last few years). I want to repeat part of that last sentence.

Market your site across social properties that matter.

Old school SEOs often suffer from link tunnel vision, focusing on “just one more link”. That takes time — valuable time which could be better spent on adding value, creating content that matter, which by the way, people will link to naturally. As it should be. By creating contnet that adds value you be ultimately creating an asset that you can leverage (this very site is just that, an asset).. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t focus on getting links, but I do believe that too many marketers are wasting far too much time worrying about getting just one more link. Confirmation from Matt Cutts (head of web spam at Google).

Matt Cutts: SEO Tips & Link Building Tunnel Vision

1) Have a website!

Just as I’ve already mentioned above, you need a website — one on which you can focus and build over time. Think of it as a long term art project that will increase in value as you add to it. Use basic marketing strategies that can super charge the launch of your site for instant authority (more on that as we continue).

2) Include the keyword.

Include the keywords and phrases that people would type into Google to find the very same content you’ve published and ensure that you’re adding those keyword phrases in the right place.

  • Keywords in the title tag
  • Keywords within the article or the body of your text
  • Keywords in the image alt html tag
  • Keywords in the heading

Basic SEO Tips & Best Practices:

  • 100% unique content not found anywhere else.

Link to other relevant websites that your visitors would like. This adds value and sends a clear signal to Google that you’re building a truly worthy resource for others. This builds trust with Google as well as humanoids. Always remember that success comes from personal connections.

3) Think marketing instead of link building.

Market your value added content across the sites that matter. Details to follow.

But Gosh, This Sounds Hard. I Want to Push Buttons

But, that wake up call?

Maybe you’re in a daydreaming state or in la la land. But the facts are clear. Do you see anyone driving life-changing results with the latest shiny piece of software?

No?

Then put that hookah pipe down and get real. Plugins, tools, web scripts and/or themes do not produce results. They can only help when the focal point of any web marketing campaign is based on adding value!

Ok?

If it seems too hard or you come up with a thousand reasons why you don’t want to, then do yourself a favor and get out of Internet marketing. Spend time with friends and family, watch TV or figure out something that you want to do — something that can produce results.
In the end, Internet marketing is a publishing business and crappy content produces crappy results. No fancy plugin can change that fact.

I promise.

If you need guidance with launching an optimized WordPress website, you can access 15+ training videos using the link below.

WordPress SEO Tutorials for 2014 – 15+ Videos Here

Note: Don’t worry about promotions or sharing your content until you have a dozen or so value-adding posts available on your site. Early on when you launch your site, your primary focus and goal should be to create a baseline of content that adds value. Shoot for ten great posts that those in your market will love. This is exactly what I did when launching this site. I made sure that there was plenty of good stuff before I began sharing.

Long Tail Keyword Research Tool & Analysis in 2014

Each and every time you publish anything to your blog, you should be thinking of optimizing the content for Google just as Matt Cutts suggests in the above video. These are the steps I take to ensure I produce high quality content that visitors and Google love and reward.

1) Content First

The content first. DO NOT turn to a keyword tool. Rather, focus on something that you and your market will find interesting. Create an article or tutorial first and then optimize it for Google by incorporating long tail keywords. Score bonus points by also creating a value added video that you upload to YouTube and incorporate into the post itself. I’ll cover YouTube as we get into “the social marketing” of your content. Let me tell you, in 2014 video marketing is not hard at all.

2) Keywords Second

Once you have your article ready in MS Word or Pages, you’ll need to figure out the best long tail keywords to incorporate into your post. By following my simple SEO tips, you’ll be optimizing for Google search in an ethical manner that will only have positive impact on your results. Note: By following this SEO guide, you’ll be scoring all kinds of points with Google as well as the visitors to your site.
Ultimately, that’s what separates winners from losers.

Free: The Best SEO Tools for 2014

We’re about to get geeky moving forward. Let’s begin with an industry leading SEO tool — the MOZ toolbar. We’ll use this toolbar to get a basic understanding of domain and page authority. This will help us to make better decisions when targeting keyword phrases. Note: I spend little time on research and keywords in general. I get what I need, pull some metrics and focus on the content. The MOZ toolbar allows me to do just that and even better. Long Tail Pro (my keyword software of choice in 2014) integrates with MOZ and returns back their data. More on why this is so helpful as we move forward.

  • The MOZ Toolbar Explained
  • Domain Authority
  • Page Authority
  • Link Profiles
  • Easily Identify Follow and No Follow Links
  • Basic Understanding of Google Ranking Competition
  • Basic Understanding of Top Ten Google SERPS

SEO Tools: MOZ Toolbar for Search & Authority Metrics

You can download and install the MOZ toolbar here.

SEO Tools: Uber Suggest & Long Tail Pro Platinum Tutorial

Long Tail Pro is a fantastic keyword research tool that is quick, flexible and makes the process of identifying keyword phrases that are easier to rank for. This is especially true for those who have access to Long Tail Pro Platinum as the platinum addition integrates with the MOZ API and returns keyword competitiveness with a push of a button. I use the software tool to identify one primary long tail target keyword phrase and I incorporate that phrase into the important key SEO tags that I mentioned above.

Note: If the phrase I target is very long, I may only incorporate part of it. The goal is to hit all the right notes, but not over do it!

Long Tail Search Term:

WordPress Tutorial

Click Here to Access UberSuggest

Click Here To Access Long Tail Pro

This is a nine eight word long tail phrase, I would incorporate the phrase into my title tag but may only incorporate “how to tie a tie” into my alt tag or within the body of my text. This is where I do not worry too much about the keywords — I get the long tail in the title tag and move on. If I’m writing about “how to tie a tie” I will naturally hit many other long tail keyword phrases that will help me to rank in Google for phrases I’m not even aware of. Take my advice, create great content, and use tools like Long Tail Pro to identify keyword phrases that make sense and move on. Another concept that was important ages ago but no longer carries the same weight, is keyword density.

I really don’t pay too much attention to it as I include the phrase I want to rank for and then move on. What will drive rankings is the marketing of good content and the way visitors engage, interact, share and like that content.

Matt Cutts: SEO Mistakes to Avoid Keyword Density

How to Market Your Website through Social Media

Let’s step back to the case study and the marketing I implemented on this site. First, to simplify and prioritize my efforts I began showing up and participating on Facebook, not Twitter or Linkedin. Note: I did not say I purchased some new social plugin or software app.
Rather, I show up on Facebook regularly and spent about ten to fifteen minutes a day. That’s what I incorporate into my marketing plan, nothing more and nothing less.

Why Facebook and not Twitter, or perhaps Linkedin?

Simply stated, the network size and user engagement of Facebook trumps all other social media sites. After all, Facebook did and still does have the biggest party happening and I don’t want to be left out. Also, Facebook users really engage as they comment, like and share. I believe that it was Leslie Rhode or Dan Thies (the guys who taught me some of the basics that I’m teaching today) who coined the term “button pushers” and this is exactly what you want.

You want people to visit your site and engage — to push buttons in order to share, like and/or to comment! Add great content and folks will do just that. It’s how the Internet works. Please also take notice how I’m linking out to other sites in this article, and I have no worries about passing link juice or using No Follow links or any of those common practices of yesterday.

Use common sense, create great content for your visitors and you will win. I guess I have said that often enough. However, it bears repeating and this is my blog ;-). Back to those button pushers, just how much do social signals impact rankings? Well, it’s hard to say. Lots of things impact rankings, but social signals are a big factor. Let’s continue to dive deeper for clarification.

Search Google for the term (I suggest you first log out of Google):

Best Practices for SEO & Social Marketing Integration

Page one of Google is a who’s who of the SEO & WordPress industry and landing on page one of Google for that terms puts your website next to some incredibly powerful authority sites such as Yoast, WordPress.org (three listing), YouTube.com (two listings) and a very few select bloggers. That would put you in very good company, indeed.

These are the juggernauts of the industry. Check out the MOZ domain rank, the lowest score is 74! Wicked! I would kill to get into the 40s as my site has a current domain rank of 28. Yet, click over to page two of the results and …

BOOM!

Brian G. Johnson and his two year old site are hanging with the big boys. Note the tremendous amount of likes, shares and comments that are found on the page. I think we can agree that the user engagement on the ranking page certainly impacted the Google Algorithm in a positive manner.
How Did I Get Those Likes, Shares, Google+ & Tweets?

Remember that ten or fifteen minutes a day spent on Facebook? Well, most of the time I act like a regular Facebook user and upload pictures of my awesome dog Otis. I share, like and engage with people I know and generally goof off. It’s not rocket science and it’s not hard. It just takes the will to show up four or five times a week. When I post new content to my blog, I simply head to Facebook and share it there. This is social media done right and there is no reason why you can’t do the same. What do I also do when releasing new content to my blog?

Blog Post Promotion Via Social Media & The List

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Mail
  • Reply to Comments

Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

I see many folks showing up on Facebook to promote and nothing else. Let me tell ya, actually I’ll leave it to Al …

You betta WAKE UP!!

It … Does … Not … Work.

If all you do is post ad after ad and you don’t share, engage and become a part of the community, you will not get any love — it simply won’t happen. Even worse, every now and then I see a marketer who has aweber set up to automatically post emails to a Facebook account.
And that is all the marketer ever posts, UGH!

Visit their profile page and all you see is aweber icons and ads. People love to buy but they don’t like being sold to and this type of marketing (not really marketing) is just that. It’s not hard, simply share a post, upload a photo, comment a few times and be sociable. Do that and people will be much more interested when you link to a value added post from your website.

Moving Forward in 2014 – Why Google Plus

Up to this point, I’ve covered the importance of having a website, having vision for the site and understanding how it will generate income. With Matt Cutts’ help I also covered some important SEO tips for content, marketing and more. In the coming days or weeks, I will continue to reveal what’s working for me and specifically why I decided to focus on Google Plus marketing in 2014. I’ll also include in depth tutorials and a peek inside of what I’m doing right now with my 15 minutes a day.

Please comment and let me know what you’re interested in learning about and I’ll
do my best to include it in my next blog post.

Best,

Brian G. Johnson

People DO NOT fail at internet marketing,
they simply GIVE UP before the magic happens.

P.S. Please don’t forget to let me know what I should cover in my Google+ blog post!

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Brian G. Johnson
I'm Social!

Brian G. Johnson

Is a serial entrepreneur, #1 best selling author, engaging speaker, product creator and poodle wrangler who enjoys coaching others to success.
Brian G. Johnson
I'm Social!

Latest posts by Brian G. Johnson (see all)

About The Author

Brian G. Johnson

Is a serial entrepreneur, #1 best selling author, engaging speaker, product creator and poodle wrangler who enjoys coaching others to success.

Facebook Comments

16 Comments

  • Bill Davis

    Reply Reply January 24, 2014

    Well, damn, Brian, if you didn’t go “off the rails” on this one! I have to admit – I skimmed your post and I will have to come back to take a deep dive (I’m literally running off to a meeting).

    But I wanted to comment here to tell you that I will be back! Good stuff here, brother.

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 25, 2014

      Bill,

      Coming from you that means a lot! I would encourage others here to Check out
      Bill’s Marketing Muscle site:

      http://internet-marketing-muscle.com/

      Good stuff for sure.

      Best,

      Brian

  • Terry Allison

    Reply Reply January 25, 2014

    Great training Brian. Thank you.

    So I have been looking at all the online opportunities to create value and income. In 2014 I am determined to build upon two or three website assets and a few Kindle children’s books. I plan to follow your advice and council to do it right.

    I really appreciate the step-by-step instructions, the tools you recommend and the leadership you provide. I have a plan in motion on your Facebook, YouTube and Google Plus strategies.

    If you ever come to Toronto please let me know so we can meet up.

    Cheers!

    Terry

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 25, 2014

      Terry,

      I would focus on one project, make it a priority and put the other possibilities on the back burner.

      Best,

      Brian

  • Michael Finlayson

    Reply Reply January 25, 2014

    Thanks Brian, that was a masterclass for success 🙂

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 25, 2014

      Michael,

      Thanks for the thumbs up, glad you found part one of this case study to be of help!

      BGJ

  • Jason Chesters

    Reply Reply January 25, 2014

    Some really helpful points Brian, I agree totally about content first and keyword 2nd, this is something I have been doing on my own blog.

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 25, 2014

      Jason, glad to hear you’re focusing on great content and then finding the appropriate keywords.

      Best,

      Brian G. Johnson

  • Mark

    Reply Reply January 25, 2014

    Brian, Great Post! I appreciate how you focus on value and a long term strategy rather than the latest page rank schemes. It’s great to see that you are having success doing things the right way rather than just using short term black hat tricks and manipulations.

    I need to read through your site and find some more great teaching.

    I first found out about you when you did Commission Ritual… but I kind of dropped off the map… but now I want to learn IM and have more time to do it.

    I hope you do a local training event some time, as I live in the Springs as well. I’ll send you an email sometime.

    Thanks,
    Mark

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 25, 2014

      Hey Mark,

      Good to see you here! Commission Ritual, that was a great product
      to create and launch and it brings back found memories 😉

      Glad you’re here!

      Best,

      Brian

  • Kevin Duque

    Reply Reply January 26, 2014

    Nice Post Brian Thanks for your Info very very helpful

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 26, 2014

      Welcome Kevin, glad you found it helpful.

  • Juan Rademacher

    Reply Reply January 27, 2014

    Great post Brian.

    I appreciate your latest insights into SEO, especially the direction that Google is currently following.

    I look forward to your take on Google+

    All the best,

    Juan

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 27, 2014

      Juan,

      Glad my ideas and strategies and providing value for you!

      Best,

      Brian

  • Elviira

    Reply Reply January 29, 2014

    Wow, Brian! Thanks a lot for great tips with SEO. Content has always been king in my blogs and FB pages. Great to know that it’s the right approach. I just have to get into the marketing site as well… Not done that much of it yet. And of course I need to do some SEO adjusting. Getting there, though.

    My IM approach is to get my income from different streams and I’m always open for new (white hat) ideas. Therefore I’m eagerly waiting for more info about Google+, since that’s completely new area for me. Especially mon3y making tips would be welcome, I’m sure you have an ace or two up your sleeve…

    Anyway, thanks for the great ideas and great content!

    • Brian Johnson

      Reply Reply January 30, 2014

      Elviira,

      Glad to hear your focused on quality content that adds value!

      Cheers,

      Brian

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