We Simplify How To Use Social Media to Complement Your SEO Efforts
Search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is quite complex and can be a difficult concept to understand. SEO is ever-changing, as search engines like Google and Bing update their algorithms and modify their standards constantly.
As the technology that drives search engines advances and becomes more sophisticated, priority is now given to quality content and authority information. Ultimately, the goal of the search engine is to award top ranking in search results to the website that best matches what the consumer is searching for.
Businesses compete for the top spot in SERP (search engine results page) by using
(1) internal links
(2) external linking
(3) keyword optimization
(4) social media marketing
The need for social media to improve SEO is relatively new, but essentially social media is useful for SEO because it encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain with Google.
If lots of people share your content on social media, then it’s likely more people will link to it, and links are a hugely important SEO ranking factor.
Here are six ways to use social media platforms to boost your search engine ranking:
1. Get “Real” Followers
Businesses that know about SEO and how it works would much rather have 10,000 engaged followers than 100,000 followers they had to pay to get.
Why? Because engaged followers will comment on posts, share links, and generate conversation about your products and services. Purchased followers – a phrase describing the hundreds of users who simply follow whatever page is placed in front of them – will very rarely interact directly with your profile.
Engagement matters for SEO. Engagement helps to not only improve your online reputation but also to make connections and generate leads for your business. According to Moz, “to determine success, an algorithm looks at whether users engaged. If more people engage, that’s a clear sign that their algorithm is showing this right content.”
The number of engaged followers your business can boast depends on your targeting method. Are you targeting anyone and everyone? If so, you likely have few engaged followers. Indeed, some businesses have thousands of followers, yet receive few (if any) retweets, comments, and likes and shares per post.
How can you reach a more specific demographic that will identify with your products, services, and goals?
2. Spread Your Links
Reactions from engaged followers behave like incoming links. These followers also spread incoming links through sharing and retweeting.
Although these incoming links from your social media shares don’t have the same impact as authentic links from other sites, they influence your bounce rate and time-on-site engagement. If your content is good and people stick around to read it, those engagement metrics communicate value to search engines.
To properly take advantage of the power of your audience, focus on creating and sharing popular content on your social media pages. Sharable content should be:
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what content will resonate with your followers. Try different things, take notes on the success of each post, outline what makes successful posts special, and then work to duplicate that quality in future posts.
3. Build Your Brand
Don’t share content simply for the sake of sharing it. Your posts should reflect your company’s values and goals.
Plus, content should not be focused primarily on making sales. There’s something bigger at work in both social media marketing and SEO. Your content is your opportunity to tell your audience members the story of your business:
who you are
how your business began
what your company stands for
Your openness and transparency will lead to more engagement than sales-focused, promotional posts ever could.
Also, be responsive to reviews, comments, and shares. Your responses will help social media algorithms recognize that your content is active.
As already said, the more engaged your followers are, the better your chances become to rank high in search engine results. Post interesting memes, articles, and pictures that align with your industry. Then, study which posts get the most attention of your followers as they scroll through their feed.
4. Optimize Your Profile and Content
Search engines will display your social media profiles. When you type the name of a business in a search engine, its social media profiles will pop up along with its official website. This helps beat out competitors in terms of visibility.
Make sure all your social media profiles are active and consistently engaging with audiences. If you’re using multiple social media sites, have consistent information across all of them. Have a bio that is relevant to your business, while still being interesting enough to attract attention.
Claim your Google My Business profile, then optimize it with information about the business, with lots of images of your products and services, and with a company description that’s linked to corresponding pages on your website and contains lots of keywords.
Add social sharing buttons to all your content. The easier it is to share, the more likely people will do it.
As you generate content for the various sections of your social media profiles, choose your words carefully. Include three or four keywords that you want associated with your brand. These keywords should be included in every section possible.
Of course, the golden rule of SEO stands: if the keyword doesn’t make sense in context, don’t place it. The days where nonsense, computer-generated keywords were used to fill in content are long gone.
5. Consider Twitter
While all social media platforms are important, Google has a special partnership with Twitter. Experts don’t quite know how this relationship will affect the future of SEO and social media marketing. Still, relevant tweets are often shown in search results. Twitter chats can help raise your profile, attract more eyeballs to your content, and generate authority for your business.
Authority is especially important because, no matter how much algorithms change, search engines will always value websites and brands that serve as go-to information centers for consumers. That is, after all, the goal of optimization. Search engines want to provide the answers customers are looking for.
To take advantage of the relationship between Google and Twitter, remember to tweet often and make your tweets relevant to your industry. Ask your followers what they want to know. Answer these questions clearly and succinctly. There’s a very good chance that, with proper editing and follower engagement, your answers will find their way to Google.
6. Engage locally
Search engines look to see how well you are engaging with your local community. That being the case, it isn’t just a good idea to reach out locally via social media, it’s a necessity.
To do this, update your accounts whenever your company gets involved in a local event. You can take pictures of these events or go “live” on Facebook. Record videos to post on YouTube.
If you are working with another organization or business in your community, let everyone know about it online. Post and comment on their social channels and encourage them to do the same on yours. Share their best content and seek out guest blog opportunities.
These activities will get you the trust of Google … and connect you with potential customers in your area.
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