Last year, we saw real time updates added to Google and other search engines as the truth about Twitter not being a fad struck home. Not just Twitter, but the real time web really took off in 2010, reaching beyond the geeks and technobabblers to Joe Public.
The search pages now include shopping, videos, real time news, blog posts and status updates, as well as the paid listings and organic search results. So, for businesses, it has become ever more important to interact more frequently online. And that means updating your website and social presence on an almost daily basis, if at all possible.
Query Demands Freshness (QDF) is taking on ever more relevance as consumers create more content, news breaks ever more quickly, and a website is deemed out of date if the last update was more than a week ago. Whilst QDF has always been important, and updating your website on a regular basis saw the introduction of such tools as Content Management Systems so that website owners could carry out this process simply, fresh, quality content has become more important now.
There are ways to mitigate this problem using tools such as RSS feeds, which can gather real time data and display it on your website easily and without any human input required. However, no-one will retweet you or interact with your status updates unless you converse and engage online regularly. So, you will need to find ways to create fresh content that stimulate conversation, discussion, sharing and interactivity, whilst keeping your overheads, particularly human ones, at a minimum.
The truth is that real-time interactivity can become a time sink, as many who use Twitter and similar tools have discovered. Therefore, if you have limited human resources, you will need to develop a strategy during 2011 that permits maximum social and real time coverage for minimum input. Also, you need to endeavour to create content which is keyword rich and archived on your site, giving you long-term, search engine friendly, organic results, especially for long tail terms for when your update is past its sell-by date (probably in about an hour for popular topics!).
None of this needs to be difficult, particularly if you understand your niche and audience, and use both automation and the right tools for the job. Quality content will always attract an audience and well-crafted content will stand the test of time, which is why it should be publicised now, and archived for tomorrow.
- Use Twitter for instant press releases in 140 characters that lead to a link on your site with the full content.
- Build your reputation across as many social channels as possible, and research the different automation tools for replicating a single piece of content across those channels.
- Know your keywords and include these where possible, and where it makes sense to do so.
- Keep a record of your content so that if a story breaks for which you have a relevant article, blog post, product manual or similar, you can issue a Twitter press release in mere moments and know that you stand a chance of picking up traffic, even for a “recycled” item.