Lee Odden, Albert Maruggi, Barry Judge, CMO at Best Buy & I had a conversation on Twitter one morning. Lee recently summarized it. Most of you are probably well aware that the organic SEO gained from community building & user generated content is quite powerful.
My opinion is that it would actually take extra effort to make community building work and not realize the positive effects for SEO. Many search engine optimization consultants that engage social media channels have noticed how their efforts resulted in community building effects. Building up profiles on various social media sites and participating in communities to share and promote content attract links, but it also builds trust.
At the end of his article, Lee asks the following question:
My question for community managers is, are you leveraging any SEO keyword research and insight to assist word choice when building profiles, creating content and outreach online?
There seem to be two schools of thought on this:
- Management that says – these are the corporate SEO keywords. Make sure that they are used in the content you create with a certain amount of frequency. (My opinion is that that results in jilted sounding content & doesn’t make for very authentic writing. Will your readers trust what you write?)
- Use language that is natural to the audience when creating content. This is much easier to do & easier for the reader in my opinion.
Can you tell which is my preference? My concern is in regard to the corporate SEO keywords. Are they aligned with the language that the public uses? One of the things that community managers find themselves doing is translating corporate terminology into terms that people use & vice versa.
Techrigy (whom I work for) has a social media monitoring tool. I enjoy showing the Author Tag Cloud. It’s a compilation of the tags that people have assigned to the results found for a certain search. In other words the largest words are probably what people are searching for. If it’s your brand/product then they are good ideas for SEO keywords. There are two advantages:
- they are generated by those interested in the brand/product
- they will highlight new words/ideas/issues (how often do corporate keywords get reviewed to reflect new trends?)
This is the Author Tag cloud for my personal brand of ‘Connie Bensen’. You can make your own with our Freemium version.
Amongst the expected terms there is ‘Age of Conversation’ & it’s various formats including aoc, aoc2, etc. It’s a collaborative book that I contributed to which was headed up by Drew McLellan & Gavin Heaton (see their names?).
So my question is – do you think that the community manager should be required to use SEO keywords as they create content? Or is it better to let them build organically?
For my blog I haven’t focused on specific keywords. And this will make many cringe but I don’t tag my blog posts (so none of my own blog posts are reflected in that chart!). And my Technorati rank maintains at around 12,600. And people find me thru Google…My suggestion is to have a broad mix & be consistent. Build community in a natural manner rather than a forced one & people will appreciate it.
For additional reading: I wrote Top 3 Metrics for Building Brand Online