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Archive for January, 2012

The Intersection of Social, Search and Your Website

Social and search get a lot of headlines.

If you read the marketing news each day you’ll see headlines about Google+TwitterFacebook and every other new social site that comes along.

There seem to be new social sites each day and it’s difficult to keep up. How is a person supposed to know where to spend their time and just how do you put one of those little icons on your website?

It’s enough to drive you crazy.

And then there’s search.

Search is always in the marketing news as well. Each day there is an article out about how Google has changed their ranking algorithm. There is always a new best practice to follow to make sure your website is SEO friendly.

All the information surrounding social and search these days is enough to drive you to the medicine cabinet for a pack of aspirin.

The reality is that there is a sweet spot amongst the entire social and search noise out there.

Your need to be looking for the intersection of social, search and your website.

The Intersection of Social, Search and Your Website

Business is about profit.

The intersection of social, search and your website is where the profit is.

The key to utilizing all the great things social and search have to offer is to focus on how they interact with your business and your own website.

The Social Community

The world is made up of communities. People have congregated together for various reasons throughout time. People come together because they have similar interest, come from similar backgrounds or simply because they have the same aspirations.

If you look throughout the Internet you will find communities. Twitter is a community. Facebook is a community. Google+ is a community.

There are even smaller communities on each of these social sites. People have circles, groups, family and friends. You probably belong to multiple communities on the Internet and don’t even realize it.

Search is another community.

The Search Community

The largest search community uses Google. People use Google multiple times each day to find information on the Web. Up to this point, Google has provided the best search solution on the Web and as a result they have the biggest community of people using their service.

Other search engines exist because they have strong communities. I’m sure you can think of some folks that still use AOL for their search engine. There are tons of people that do this. AOL was their original online community. They trust it and will likely never leave unless something really powerful comes along.

The Intersection

Your business sits at the intersection of social and search on the Internet.

Both social and search work together to bring people together. Your business is a community. You serve a specific target audience. These folks look to your business for solutions to their problems.

It’s a community.

The goal you need to have with social and search is to bring people from other communities into your community. That’s the goal of social marketing and search marketing.

You are looking to add to your community of customers.

In order to do this there are a few things to focus on.

First, your website needs to be the central point of your efforts online. Spend the most time focusing on your website and making sure it’s optimized for capturing the attention of your target audience. You want to make sure your website is optimized for long-term customers relationships.

Provide content that your customers crave. Provide the experience your customers are looking for from a website. Work with your designer to really hone in on the three most important things your customer needs from your website and make your website really good at these three things. The rest is not as important.

Second, focus on making your website a place where folks in the search communities can find your content. This is search engine optimization. You want to do the things that allow your business to get found by the right people in the search community. This requires some keyword research and some understanding of how your customer searches for information online.

The search space is always changing, but the basic fact remains that search engines want to provide the best results for their customers. Focus on pleasing the customer and the rest will kind of fall into place with search.

Third, social is worth spending some time on, but don’t get so involved that it takes time away from focus on your own website. You want to make sure you are tending to your own paying community first.

The opportunity with social is that you have access to other communities that have people that might want to join your business community. You will have to bring something interesting and valuable to the attention of these folks.

Spend some time on Twitter or Facebook or wherever your target community is in the social world. Learn where your target audience is and learn what they are interest in. Provide a solution to their interest and you should be able to bring a few people from social sites to your site and into your community.


The intersection of social, search and your website is how you can find success online.

People tend to focus on social and search as separate things. The truth is that both are simply different communities of people on the Internet.

Today, social and search are becoming more intertwined with each other. Google is using more social signals in their results pages.

The key is to focus on your own website first. This is the channel you will have control over.

Google, Twitter and Facebook will always be changing and you won’t really have a chance to ever catch up. There will also be new sites that you’ll have to pay attention to.

To keep things constant it’s best to focus on how your site can interact with the appropriate search and social communities. You want your website to be a place where people from other communities on the Internet can come together and join your business community.

This leads to profit.

This leads to success at the intersection of social, search and your website.

How Good Content Can Improve Conversion

Content is not king.

You’ve heard that content is king, but I’m here to tell you it is not.

Profit is king.

It always has been and always will be. For businesses, profit is what keeps the lights on. Profit is what leads to growth, more profit and more opportunity.

On the web, conversions lead to profit.

Conversions are king on the web. Every website needs to be focused on getting visitors turned into lifelong customers of the business.

Now we have to backtrack a little bit and discuss content once again.

In some cases, content is what leads to an improved conversion rate.

Let me explain.

How Good Content Can Improve Conversion

People go through a process when they make a purchase.

Think about the last time you made a purchase. Let’s say you were wanting to purchase a new Smartphone. You’ve heard a lot about all the latest smartphones. You have seen friends with iPhones and Android phones. You even had some friends give you their phone to test.

So you’re considering purchasing the new iPhone. You visit Apple’s iPhone page and start reading.

This is the part in the process where content really starts to become important.

At this point in the purchasing process a person is typically not sold on committing to the purchase. There is still research to be done especially since the product has a relatively high monetary cost.

Think about how your website operates in this situation. As a salesperson, you are not there when a potential customer visits your product page. Your page is going to have to do the job of salesperson when you’re not there.

The customer is in the research step of the buying process. They are determining if the product, in this case the iPhone, is the right choice for their new smartphone.

Now, what did you do when you were considering your iPhone purchase?

Peer Reviews and Testimonials

You asked friends for their opinion.

Your website product page can accomplish this with customer reviews. There are a number of services that offer customer reviews for websites. You can also utilize testimonials. Focus on the things that your customer really cares about.

Ask your customers about how a product changed their life for the better. Ask your customers how your service gave them more free time and allowed them to do other things they love more than what they were doing before.

By asking your customers what really matters to them you will get the best testimonials.

This is what potential customers are looking for when making a purchasing decision.

What else did you think about when making your iPhone purchase?

Price and Justification

Price is a tricky piece of the content and conversion puzzle.

Some people are afraid to showcase their price where customers can immediately see it. There is another way of thinking that showcasing the price is a good way to weed out those that might not be the best long-term customers.

In business, there are good customers and not-so-good customers. You want the best customers and those are the people willing to pay the price you determine.

The important part of any price is the justification.

The content on the page needs to sell the visitor on the benefits of the product or service for them. This means that the content on your pages will need to focus on the value you provide for the customer.

In the case of the iPhone, this means that Apple has to show how the iPhone allows people to take pictures with their phone. People no longer need to worry about carrying both a camera and a phone.

The iPhone also allows people to have access to numerous useful applications such as news updates, reminders and even games.

Another aspect of the phone is prestige. People feel confident when they use their iPhone. This vanity is an important part of the iPhone’s appeal. People purchase the iPhone because it is beautiful.

These points and others are reasons why content is important for your website.


If the content on your website addresses the needs of the customer you should see an improvement in conversion.

Not every customer is immediately ready to purchase when they stumble upon your website.

Buying is a process and people need to go through the entire process before they finally commit to handing over their hard earned cash.

People need content to help them feel good about the purchases they make. Content is an important aspect of any website, but it’s also one of the most overlooked.

Focus on content when you design your website. Focus on how content can be used to answer the questions visitors will have as they move through the purchasing cycle.

Good content is an important aspect of conversion.

And conversion is king on the web.