Social Search Engine Marketing Throws Search Experts A Lifeline

Anchor-BAside from smartphones and tablets, social search engine optimization has emerged as the next focus for many marketers in enterprises during a time when more C-level execs continue to give attention to search engine optimization (SEO), video offers search and social opportunities, and small and national businesses capitalize on local search, according to a study released Thursday.

Social signals continue to make their way into search results --making social search engine optimization the next major trend in organic listing. Enterprise SEO requires a search across traditional techniques and social media channels. Some 49% of the survey participants said social sharing will have more importance when it comes to improving search rankings in 2013 compared with 2012, followed by 31%, much more importance; and 19%, about the same, according to results of a BrightEdge study, which cites Forrester Research numbers suggesting that search engine optimization will become a $2.2 billion industry by 2016.

To improve SEO ranking with help from social, marketers must understand the exact correlation between social sharing of pages and rank. Identifying this correlation and analyzing the content being shared helps marketers reinforce what’s working and what's not. When asked how important it will be to understand the correlation between social sharing and page rank, 47% of survey participants said more important compared with 33%, much more important; 19%, about the same; and 1%, less important.

Understanding topics will also become "more" important when it comes to social media users and sharing information. The key will be identifying user interests expressed in social media and catching consumers' attention by providing content that targets these interests. Some 45% said it will become more important this year to identify trends, compared with 24%, much more important; 30%, about the same; and 1%, less important.

When asked to name multiple social media channels that marketers will focus on this year, some 86% said Facebook; 68%, Google+; 43% LinkedIn; 41%, Twitter; 29%, Pinterest; and 25%, YouTube.

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