One of the difficulties of obtaining SEO services is the dichotomy between the purpose of what you are seeking (better natural search rankings) versus what it takes to attain those better rankings.
Search engine optimization has become more complex over the years. This is a natural result of the increasingly more complex calculations and rules that search engines use to deliver the best results to searchers.
It also means you need to be more savvy about what you require from an SEO agency.
For example, no longer can you expect to simply optimize your individual web pages to deliver those pages more visitors. Developing inbound links from external sites have been a vital component of an SEO strategy for many years – but not all SEO firms provide such services.
Social Media is Increasingly More Important as a Part of Search Marketing
Furthermore, social media is becoming more and more an additionally vital component in the search marketing mix.
Not only do the biggest services, such as YouTube and Facebook, deliver visitors directly to your site (presuming you are using them effectively), but search engines are using social media signals as part of determining the relevance of any given website as part of their own calculations.
Hence, each and all the various social media connections that point to your pages are increasingly becoming signals that differentiate your website’s relevance from many other similar websites.
In other words, the value of using LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, blogs, and all other social media channels are more and more an important part of the search marketing mix in addition to the advantages of directly increasing your presence out in the Internet community of individuals interested in what you have to offer.
Not all SEO firms incorporate social media development for your business, as part of their services. And if you don’t ask about it, and/or they don’t tell you about it, you can be confident that social media is not being incorporated into your search marketing endeavors.
In fact, some SEO firms might represent social media development as an aspect of public relations and/or marketing, and not SEO. Heck, some SEO’s would even represent external link development as an aspect of public relations and/or marketing, as well.
Purpose of Search Engine Optimization
Although such arguments may have merit, the real point here goes back to the SEO purpose of seeking better natural search rankings, as noted in the first sentence above.
Regardless of whether that’s accomplished by the same team or not, and regardless of whether such services are administered internally, externally or a combination of both, the long-term viability of your natural search marketing activities are tied to social media development in conjunction with SEO.