41317_Harry_picOn April 13th, AMA Boston was fortunate to be able to offer our members and guests an exciting dive into a major trend: the increasing connection between SEO and social media. Led by Harry Gold, CEO of Boston digital leader Overdrive Interactive, the fast-paced session roared through “17 Ways to Integrate SEO and Social Media.”

Moderator Rosi Dineva, VP of Volunteers for AMA Boston, kicked off the program by welcoming the large online crowd and announcing a couple of important upcoming events before recapping our presenter’s impressive background. Then Harry took it away – here are the key take-aways from his presentation, in which his strategic points were interspersed with specific examples:

  • Overdrive Ongoing SEO ProcessStart by your ideal ongoing SEO process: discovery to identify your target market and competitors and understand your brand’s essence and the attributes of your products; keyword strategy and optimization action plan; benchmarking; then tracking, analyzing and reporting and adjusting monthly.
  •  “Google is now the start of the customer journey” as people often search by a brand name.
  • While Google+ has been deemed a failure by some, it is still critical for SEO and social media, as content “posts right into Google’s brain.”
  • There are two sides to SEM:
    • Non-brand search terms
    • Brand-centric terms
  • Search behavior, like other shopping experiences, varies by the buying stage.
  • “Social Powers Your Brand in Search:” There is integration in which social affects influence rankings, Google Knowledge Graphindexes your social sites and reads your social posts, social is displayed in branded results and affects the Knowledge Graph, and social distribution affects backlinks.
    • SEO Brand Management” – everything drives branded search, and the latter complements all other forms of media. Search is now the dominant primary research resource during all phases of purchase funnel.
    • Google Indexes Your Social Channels; Harry showed several examples
    • Google Indexes Your Social Posts and Updates
    • Social weaves your content into the fabric of the web and build backlinks
  • Your “Source, Create and Publish Stream” shows how your wide range of your resources, including your employees, customers, vendors, and of course marketing channels creates tips, news, offers, posts and images to be disseminated as a content stream across your social platforms.
  • Harry then gave a distinct prescription for our listeners to integrate Social and SEO by presenting the “17 Ways” document. Several tips and highlights follow: if you wish to download this useful PDF, just visit www.overdriveinteractive.com/17ways.
    • You can specify your social profile” by using Google Webmaster tools to add bits of code to the home page.
    • “Hashtagify” helps you identify relevant keywords and hashtags – use tags that are already in use!
    • Create a keyword hot sheet with target terms and hot sheets, then opportunistically use the keywords in your social channel descriptions.
    • Optimize your social posts and YouTube presentation, and in the latter, focus on the title and description and keywords in your narration script.
    • For blog optimization, the “headline is everything” as it powers share, so use your keywords at the start of the headline. Harry noted the role of “Google Suggested” search and “related search” results under Trends.
    •  Encourage Sharing by making others look smart by sharing – developers can help you designate images and copy to be shared, beyond the Share buttons.
    • Other areas to optimize include press releases, SlideShare presentations and share copy.
    • Lightweight CopyHarry described the importance of “lightweight content” that lets the title do the selling and is easy to read, understand, and share.
    • Harry then described how Overdrive’s social media map became a significant lead gen tool for the agency, as its influence was greatly magnified by social sharing strategies.

The SEO and social media program concluded with a brisk Q+A covering: get started through linking your home page to social channels and ensuring your social team knows the target terms to ensure campaign integration; encourage at least monthly calls or meetings between SEO and Social; try Click Z, Search Engine Land SE Watch, and Social Media Today as resources; and how to enhance your “Brand Box,” which is powered by a Google Knowledge Graph and affected by the frequency of your posts, Google+ and many other factors.

AMA Boston is grateful to Harry and the large and engaged audience for your leadership and participation. We hope to see you at another of other of upcoming events – take a look!


  • William Bullard

    William Bullard is a strategic marketer with extensive experience in the Internet, digital marketing, database marketing, content, and many related areas. His career was in direct marketing and wireless communications before he moved into education marketing. He recently founded EdChanges to help institutions leverage strategic marketing in a fast-changing landscape.