Search engine optimization has undergone a drastic transformation over the last couple of years, so much that some are proclaiming that it no longer matters. Many of these claims can be attributed to the fast rise of social media and the fact that traditional websites have fallen in the shadows of Facebook and other popular social networking sites. There is no denying the promise social media offers to small businesses and online marketers in general. With more consumers joining the party everyday, it may not only be time for businesses to change the way they research keywords, but revisit their entire SEO strategy as well.

Fine-Tuning Your Keyword Strategy

Consumers are using a variety of social media platforms to reveal a wealth of valuable information about themselves and what they want. This information is so valuable because it can be used to help small businesses better optimize their websites and improve rankings in the search engines. So how do you adjust to the social chatter? Find out what consumers are saying about your product, service or brand. This can be done by doing things like viewing the tweets associated with your Twitter hash tag and following those conversations. You could also search Facebook with your existing primary keywords to figure out what other terms your contacts and potential audience members are using in their social discussions.

Analyzing the social media sites can help you discover long tail keywords that work perfectly for your inner website pages. There is a great chance that the traffic these pages generate will not only be the most targeted, but of the highest quality. The key is leveraging social media as a keyword research and suggestion tool that boosts your overall SEO efforts. Such a practice is well worth trying when considering that it can help you gain a competitive edge in your respective field. The fact that many small businesses cannot afford to devote the time and manpower to monitoring the social conversations on a daily basis gives you the opportunity to seize the moment. If you can somehow make the time to do so when routinely researching your keywords, you can achieve optimization that capitalizes on both the search and social traffic.

Make Search and Social Optimization Work Together

According to the Social Media Marketing Benchmark Survey recently conducted by Marketing Sherpa, 32% of marketers said that integrating social media with their SEO efforts turned out to be a very effective move, 54% said it was slightly effective, and 14% reported that it wasn’t effective at all. While these numbers are quite surprising, it is very likely that the respondents are made up of the tiny fraction of marketers that have attempted to integrate social media and SEO.

The basis of SEO is determining what consumers are looking for when entering keywords in search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo. Social media has been able to make such an impact because it allows consumers to tell each other what they’re actually looking for. The marketer that is able to put it all together is the one who will benefit from the traffic generated by these social conversations.