SEO used to be the holy grail to achieving high site ranking. However, in today’s social media world, SEO doesn’t hold the weight it used to. People now ask their friends or networking strangers for recommendations on virtually anything and get results within minutes through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

Here is why SEO doesn’t work without social media signals anymore, and what you need to be doing to accommodate this change.

Social Bookmarking and News Sites

It’s now more effective to turn to sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious, or StumbleUpon than it is to use search engines because of tagging and built-in search functionality. Also, the fact that someone else has already looked over something and decided it was worth sharing with others gives the information more credibility than a random search result. Adding social bookmarking links to your site is also a great way to encourage users to promote your pages for you.

Facebook

Facebook opens up a world of possibilities for driving traffic to your website. Create a FB page or group for your site and encourage people to join, then incorporate a “Like” button on your site for visitors to easily share. You can put a link to the group on your site, and send out recommendations to your current FB friends. Another option with FB is targeted advertising, which is relatively inexpensive.

Twitter

As Twitter is just one giant conversation, it can help you interact with your users and prospective clients, and keep abreast of what’s happening in the gaming industry. Twitter is also great as a proactive customer service tool as you can read the feedback users are having with your services in real-time. Plus, Twitter lets everyone see your updates—which opens up great promotional opportunities.

But Don’t Drop the SEO

Even though social media has made a huge impact on how site traffic is driven, this isn’t to say that search engines have become irrelevant. Websites that contain a lot of information and provide fresh, original content will still benefit from SEO, especially with the search algorithm updates Google continues to roll out. Adding improvements to further optimize your site; i.e. good alt tags on images, etc., will only boost your online visibility even more—with or without social media help.

Has social media changed the way you do business as an affiliate? Do you take advantage of social media sites, or tend to be more old school when it comes to driving traffic? Let us know in the comments below.


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