Recently, we posted an article lamenting the aggressive assault on blog comments by spammers. Up until recently, blog comments were a key tool for content marketers looking to generate participation and dialogue with their audience.
Now, thanks to the rise of social media the conversation is moving to Facebook, Google+,Twitter & LinkedIn. The good news is that this change does not mean blog comments are obsolete, just that the manner in which we engage in dialogue has changed.
Engagement Upgrade: From Commenting to Sharing
The majority of blogs nowadays have few, if any, on-the-page comments. Why is this? Two main reasons:
- Real comments are buried by the hundreds and hundreds of fake comments by spammers. Blog editors overwhelmed with wading through the noise miss the real messages.
- Faced with a lack of engagement by blog writers, ‘commenters’ have little faith in the blog as a valid channel for dialogue. No one wants to speak into a vacuum.
- Social Media has made it easier, faster, and more responsive when it comes to group discussion. Now, the conversation has moved from the isolated audience of one single blog, to the extended circle of influence owned by its readers.
This trend has led some blog writers to turn off commenting capability on their blog and focus on encouraging readers to ‘Like’, ‘Plus’ and ‘Tweet’ their comments.
In many ways, this is an improvement primarily because it exposes a blog to the larger, extended audience of its readers. Many more people, in fact, than if it stayed on your blog even with lots of comments. Once shared, people often do comment, at least on the post. So this change has made it more likely for your blog to be seen by a wider audience and still get comments and feedback. All of this while leaving the spammers behind. Make sure you encourage this behavior with ways to share the link or like your blog on Facebook.
What does this mean for SEO though?
As we’ve said before, Internet Marketing is not SEO. And search engine optimization, is not the only tool you should be using to increase traffic and sales. SEO for the sake of having SEO is pointless. It leads to dull blog posts and is usually an obvious thing readers can see. This can actually lead to turning people off and away instead of drawing them in.
Rely on quality content not keyword saturation and you are more likely to have good results. In fact, quality content is what leads to content sharing. Content sharing will boost your inbound marketing success… often without much effort on your part. Backlinks, shared posts and comments on Facebook as opposed to your blog site are all healthy for traffic.
Great content will create engagement. Engagement will create dialogue. Dialogue will create sharing. And sharing will create awareness about your company (and maybe even a link or two back to your site. It may be a circuituous path, but you can still get SEO mileage out of this.