How Social Media influence SEO and online retail: the UK market example
I gathered some interesting data about the UK around social media adoption, mobile usage and online visits, that demonstrate how your Social Media strategy can drive sales.
I am sure this analysis can be applicable to every country – and what is already happening in the UK will happen in other European Countries It’s just a matter of time.
Let’s have a look at the European online mobile market, first of all.
According to recently released data by ComScore, the penetration of mobile retail activity in the 2 month period March 2011- May 2011 is much higher than the average of the top 5 European countries (the top 5 European countries count for over 75% of the total European business).
What does this mean? two things substantially: Europeans are starting to adopt mobile shopping, which is good news and definitely an opportunity for online retail players. But actually data show that mobile users are also accessing price comparisons via their mobile phones. A comparison with previous year’s data shows how big this opportunity is, especially in the UK, and how fast mobile retail is growing: there has been an increase of 163% from smartphone users since last year.
The good news appears even better if we consider that Britons spend the majority of their online time on Facebook (16% of their time, according to ComSscore),
with 34% accessing social networks from their mobile phones, according to IDC.
Interesting enough, according to a recently published study by Enders Analysis on UK online retail behaviour based on ComScore analysis, while social networks seems attracting the moajority of UK online minutes, visits to online retail websites is not driven by social media. Online search engines like Google and Bing accounted for 36% of traffic to Apple, Amazon and Tesco while Social Networking sites like Facebook accounted for 8% of traffic in May 2011.
So the question is: do you really need to focus on social media if your clicks mainly come from search engines?
The answer is YES!!
In fact, social SEO deals with results that are generated via your social activities. So for instance, this could include the pages your friends like on Facebook, or the pages that they +1 in Google or the forthcoming activity on Google+ company pages.
Social recommendations bring value to your brand visibility, online and offline. Now that Google is sarting to bring this into your search experience, this will be even more important, as highlighted in this article on how Being “Friends” On Google+ Leads To Better Rankings.
Also Seomoz indicated there is a huge relationship between social metrics and ranking in the graph below:
- You need an integrated social media marketing strategy: social networks and every source of information must be accessible from mobiles – and your website should be ready for it.
- If your data show that your social media efforts are not driving direct sales, don’t forget the importance in search engine rankings. Keep your fan page up to date and rich of content, stimulate interaction, use it as landing page and don’t forget to ask your fans what they want from you- don’t guess! They will like your coupons, and then your brand 🙂 (see this post for reference)
- Watch countries that are similar to yours, and take advantage of what can be next (Germany and France will come next in the online retail and mobile retail gowth: are you practicing your German and French yet for your fan pages?)
- Compare prices with your competitors: are you more convenient?
- Make your online retail website accessible via mobile phones: Do you have an app for it? If not, you may want to have a budget for this, if you don’t want to loose your mobile clients.
- Facebook fan pages vs (forthcoming) Google+ pages for business: lessons learned and tips
- How do you measure your social media ROI?
- The importance of being social
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+: who is using social media and what to expect from social media marketing in the future
- The 4 Rs of Social Media Marketing: the Right information at the Right time, in the Right format, to the Right people