Meet Steve Wiideman

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m known best as the guy who is constantly giving away content and information products around the topic of search engine optimization (SEO). So much in fact that I tend to rank fairly well for search terms such as “SEO Expert”, “free SEO eBook”, and similar terms. I have about decade of experience in SEO and paid search advertising (PPC) working with some extremely exciting companies. When I’m not training search marketing firms, teaching SEO workshops or doing research on tough technical SEO obstacles, I’m help build long-term SEO strategies for online and local businesses.

Where are you from?

I’m a native Orange County guy who loves to ride the boardwark, surf, and play at theme parks with my kids.

What do you like about social media?

I think my friend Warren Whitlock said it best, “it might be SEO that gets the prospect to the website, but it will be social media that eventually determines if the prospect will buy.” He’s right. Social media is injecting itself into purchase pages where friends and connections appear next to +1 and Facebook icons indicating their opinion of the product or content.

Social media has also open doors that have been locked for decades, allowing average Joe’s like me to get in front of important people on popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook Walls, Google+ Circles and more. Not getting a response from a support form or not getting the service you expect? Just use a social channel and have your experience seen by thousands of people and quickly remedied by the company you were struggling to get support through.

Social media creates trust, consensus, and a user-built matrix of information, as opposed to a robot or system controlled search experience. Just checkout what people are saying about the future of social in Quora when asked what’s lacking: Amazing, right?

What is the most important lesson you have learned regarding New Media?

The most important lesson that I’ve learned is to listen. Listen to reviews, opinions, blog commentary, tags used, interpretation, hashtags, and anything else your patrons and prospects might be saying about you, your industry and your products.

This lesson has helped me to help business increase user behavior within search results for a number of my clients. One retail account, for example, increased the click-through rate (CTR) within Google by over 1200% by simply including pricing and free shipping within title and meta description fields. Google “title tag principles” to find both my blogs listed, both utilizing language that predicts the searcher’s intent. I listened and learned that those people doing a search for title tag principles are looking to improve their rank in Google results, so I said just that.

What kind of advice would you offer someone trying to use New Media to build their brand online?

Planning is critical with new media. There’s a push and pull, yin and yang, and a marketer must use both to fully benefit from all the awesomeness new media has to offer. With social media, think first about your customers and being a fast reply in Twitter away from responding to a support request; draw them in to communicate with you first (before slamming you in a blog post).

Next, think about your campaign themes (the push), your how-to videos, help guides, video personality campaign and viral marketing campaigns. Build a simple planning and tracking mechanism such as this one for your video and social media strategy and a simple content tracking spreadsheet to track key phrases you wish to rank for within search results. If you can’t build a Gantt chart to play as a planning guide for all your online marketing, these two tracking devices at least give you some level of accountability to your search and social strategies.

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