Social media and SEO might seem like two completely different marketing streams, but the truth is your social media strategies can influence your SEO. The best thing to do is integrate your strategies so the social media and SEO are working as allies to grow your business.
What has social media got to do with SEO?
Before we get into some practical strategies, it’s important to understand how social media and SEO interact together.
Social media does not directly boost your SEO.
In fact, Google has said in the past that social media does not affect your rankings. Social media is an unreliable source of data for Google – one of the reasons being it is too hard to figure out if a post is authoritative and reliable.
What about links to your website? Surely they help SEO? Well, not directly. A good majority of social sites nofollow external links. In other words, these links don’t boost the authority of your website.
But it’s not all bad news. Social media might not have a direct influence on your rankings but there is definitely a correlation between what you do on social media and your SEO. Sharing high quality content, building relationships, and growing brand awareness can all have a positive effect on SEO.
And who’s to say if social media won’t play a bigger role in Google rankings in the future?
In any case, it’s worth thinking carefully about your social media strategies because the impact might not be direct, but it is there. Without further ado, let’s get into some practical takeaways that you can start implementing.
Here are 3 strategies on how you can leverage social media to benefit SEO.
Create high quality content and promote it using social media.
We all know that high quality content is king when it comes to SEO, but it’s not enough to simply create the content – you’ve got to get people engaging with it. That’s where social media comes in.
Promoting your best content on social media is a great way to get more people to read it, save it for later and share it with others.
While the links on social media sites themselves might not be high value, promoting your content invites website owners and content creators to cite and link back to your content in other places.
No one’s going to link to your content if they don’t know about it.
The takeaway here is: create a content promotion strategy that you can use for every new piece of high quality content you produce. And for your most head-turning, evergreen content, schedule it to be posted again.
Grow a following on social media and encourage them to talk about you online.
If people start talking about your brand a lot on social media it might not affect how high you rank on the search results pages. But there’s evidence to show it could affect what you rank for.
You see, if there’s a lot of talk about your brand, it signals to Google that you’re something worth giving attention to.
Plus growing positive brand awareness on social media is never a bad thing. The more attention you get, the more people will search for you online and the more Google will see you as an authority in your market.
Practically what can you do? Work at growing an audience of social media followers organically. Things like providing useful, engaging content, using hashtags and engaging with followers can all help. Encourage and reward people for talking about you online.
The more you engage with your followers on social media, the more you can learn about what they want and how they behave. This is vital information that you can use to streamline your SEO tactics.
For example, if you know what type of content your audience responds to best, you can create more of it. If your followers keep asking similar questions, you can create high quality, value adding content that addresses those questions.
Build reciprocal relationships with potential SEO partners.
If you want to get high quality links, the best thing you can do is build relationships with people who can give you that. When someone trusts you they’re more likely to share your content.
Focus on developing relationships where you can also offer something to the other person as well. Maybe that’s a business owner who offers a complementary service. For example, a Facebook Advertising Agency might benefit from a relationship with a product photographer, a web-designer or a branding agency.
To build relationships using social media, it takes a lot more than simply handing out a few likes. You’ve got to engage. When you reach out to people, try thinking about what you can offer them.
Building a strong network of reciprocal relationships will open the door to more opportunities than you could access on your own.
Optimise your social profiles so people can find you.
We often think of Google as synonymous with ‘search engine’ but you’ve got to remember that social media platforms are also search engines. People use Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to find businesses.
It’s important that your profile shows up at the top of the list when someone searches for you. The best way to do this is to optimise your profile with up-to-date information, use clear labels and delete any duplicate accounts.
Social profiles show up on Google’s search results page too, sometimes above the business’ website. So you want to make sure your social profiles are optimised to give users the right brand experience.
The exact influence that social media has on SEO isn’t crystal clear, but one thing is for certain – what you do on social media matters. It can have a huge impact on brand awareness, brand authority and brand reputation – three things that are important for SEO.
Instead of seeing social media marketing and SEO as separate strategies, it would be more beneficial to see them as interrelated. Use social media to promote your high quality content, grow brand awareness and build strategic partnerships.