Driving traffic to your website through social networking can bring huge financial benefits according to Manchester's online experts at a recent round table discussion.
Supporting computer maker Dell's recent revelations that they generated $6.5million through sales of PCs, software applications and accessories using Twitter, the microblogging site was identified as a primary traffic driver to company websites and an essential form of free, immediate advertising.
With focused and plentiful content still high on the priority list for SEO in 2010, distributing it across a number of different sites was believed to be vital in creating quality links to company websites and improving search rankings.
With a worldwide Facebook audience in excess of 350 million users and Twitter growing at a reported rate of 1382 per cent, the panellists admitted that their marketing campaigns now focused heavily on linking content across numerous social networking sites.
Joining Lawrence Jones, managing director of UKFast, was Terry Heffernan from High Position. He said, "The way Google is approaching search at the moment it is all about universal search. If you think that a search return now includes video footage, news footage, directory and business listings and maps the first natural SEO listings are often suppressed down the page. It therefore makes sense to optimise across all those other channels."
Fellow panellist and marketing operations director of CSI Media, Craig Stone agreed, "We've tried to enhance the message we're getting out by not just using Twitter on its own but using it in combination with a blog, news article and a press release all written from slightly different angles. It is through this combined approach that we've seen articles and Twitter posts published within seven minutes."
Ultimately it was the combination of specialist content and an ongoing stream of visitors enhanced through social networking sites which was believed to be a vital component in lead generation.
To encourage customer flow through incoming links, speed was also identified as an important aspect of SEO in 2010. Recognised by Google's Matt Cutts as an increasing focus for search rankings, the panel confirmed that the delivery of content was thought to be as increasingly important as the content itself.
The round table discussions are held in association with UKFast with the aim of uniting business leaders to share advice and provide a wealth of ideas for other developing companies. Other panellists that joined the SEO round table were Tom Cheesewright, strategy director of And Digital, and Matt Rycroft, technical director of Oomagoo.