What Is Social Media SEO?
The search industry is always discussing how social media can influence SEO. Social media SEO refers to how social media can grow your business website’s organic traffic. Typically through search engines.
It’s a topic on several case studies that never gets old. The reason is simple: social media is important for SEO in more than one way. It not only makes your SEO activities effective but also lucrative.
Yes, social media and SEO might look different, but there’s no doubt that they help each other. However, contrary to popular belief, social media doesn’t directly contribute to SEO.
In other words, social media signals don’t directly help your with search engine rankings.
Now, here’s the thing: even though social media is not a ranking factor on a superficial level. It has significance if you look deeper.
Indirectly, it does have a positive effect on a page’s search ranking. There is a definite correlation between a site’s position in the SERPs and the number of social signals it has.
Study the websites that hold top-ranking positions in Google searches. You will find many of them having strong social signals.
Consider investing in a social media strategy marketing strategy. You will in essence also improving your chances of performing well in the search engines.
Why Google Ignores Social Signals
Google crawls and indexes social media profiles / pages from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Does it view a piece of content and the links published on them any different? No, it treats them like a regular HTML page of a website.
Google doesn’t account for social media shares. Neither does it take followers into consideration when ranking a web property.
Because it would be too easy for anyone to cheat the system. An undeserving site will rank higher than a deserving one.
Also, it’s important to note that social media shares happen 24/7. And they take place quicker than Google can catch up. Which makes it difficult for the search engine giant to crawl and keep track of them.
We do not know how much data Google has access to from the major “must-login” social media sites. There is no sign whether they could use it for ranking purposes.
Here’s what we do know about search engine results. Social media plays an indirect role in helping people find your website.
And for now, that’s all that matters.
Take Your Social Media SEO To The Next Level
One of the biggest benefits of SEO is gaining more visibility. Getting more people to organically visit your business website.
Social media marketing, on the other hand, is about making the most of social networks. Getting found on them by the right people.
They both might look different but have overlapping goals. In essence, they work together.
This is why search engines are becoming more social. Social networks are turning into valuable search engines.
An effective social media strategy has to have a solid SEO plan in place because both of them go hand and in hand.
Let’s look into three valid reasons as to why you should focus your efforts on social media.
Social Media SEO: Content Gets Indexed
Publish the right type of social media content on a regular basis. This strategy will make a huge difference for your business and overall content marketing campaign.
When social media posts can get crawled by search engine bots and get indexed, things get better.
Now, this doesn’t mean that every tweet or post you make finds its way to Google’s vast index.
It has to be relevant enough so that they can be found by people searching for similar content.
Example: Search for Oprah Winfrey. You will find most of the top results are her social media profiles / pages. Because it’s relevant to the search query.
What’s even better is that social media can help you get your website’s content indexed faster. Because of how search engines treat social media content.
If your blog post gets a lot of attention on Facebook or Twitter, it will end up getting in the index at a quicker pace. Search engine spiders are able to find such content easily because of the social factor.
So if your post goes viral on social media, the ripples can be felt in the search engine result pages.
Social Media SEO: Helps Build Authority
Search engines give a lot of weight to a website’s authority, making it a critical SEO factor to focus on.
In the eyes of search engines, if your page or domain has a high value, it has high authority. And a better chance to rank above sites with not-so-strong authority.
The authority of a web page or site grows over time. Keep publishing top-notch content and gain more relevant backlinks. Your authority will also keep growing.
The content that you publish, if valuable, gives your audience what they’re looking for. This in turn earns you backlinks, giving you a number of positive votes.
Back when social media didn’t exist, the link-building world was different.
Fast forward to today. You can’t ignore social media when talking about effective link building tips.
Why? Because a good chunk of content on the web is distributed via social media. It’s the biggest content distribution engine.
Your influence on social media has a direct impact on the level of authority. That is also why it is considered vital in your content marketing strategy.
Focusing on building an engaged network of social media followers. As a consequence, your content has more relevant places to live.
And the more relevant places it lives in, the more authority you gain.
Example: you create content about Yoga. You then get backlinks from blogs that specifically write about Yoga. You get more brownie points from Google and other search engines.
They’ll know that you’re publishing content that is reaching a relevant audience.
Social Media SEO: Involves Real People
While SEO has a technical side to it, it’s not the only thing you should focus on.
Most of the black-hat or unethical SEO practices are technical in nature. Yet they fail to give long-term results because they take the “user” out of the equation.
When search engines are specifically looking for a human touch. These methods are not about people.
Search engines have always tried to find a better way to serve users and move beyond the technical stuff.
Your SEO has to have a human element in it in order to get real-world results. Or else it will get beaten by someone who took the time to create valuable content.
With social media growing at warp speed. It is becoming an unavoidable part of SEO, especially because it’s made up of real people.
After content, social media is seen as an integral factor in search. It lets you segregate your audience and target who you want.
Indeed, social media is one of the fastest ways to get to know your audience.
Be it a group, customer support channel, or promotion page. Whatever purpose it serves your business, it will be easy for you to get feedback.
It gives you a bird’s view of everything.
You know where your content is, who it is being consumed and shared by, and the kind of impact it is having. Which if you ask us, is huge in terms of SEO.
Here’s How Social Media Helps SEO
Now that we’ve established that social media isn’t a direct Google ranking factor. Here are five ways social media actually does help you rank better.
Get More Quality Links
Backlinks have always been one of the most important Google ranking factors. Both, the quality and the number of backlinks have a strong effect on how well your site ranks.
Focus your efforts to grow with your social media marketing. You are more likely to attract the right type of backlink opportunities.
When your content has a higher number of social media shares, it is gets noticed. Not only by influencers / power users. But also by many relevant webmasters / bloggers who might want to link to you.
According to a study conducted by Dan Zarrella from HubSpot. There is a correlation between the number of social media shares the number of backlinks.
Gone are the days when social media was only about shares. Today, it’s about making leverage.
It’s about making your content engaging enough so that it is shared and seen not just by anybody. But by the right people.
Given that you are publishing and sharing high-quality content on social media. Your content should be able to generate a higher amount of engagement and backlinks to grow.
Build a Strong Audience or Following
A great product / service is the first step towards achieving great marketing goals.
However, in order to truly call your product or service a success. It is important to spread the word about it amongst your target audience. Especially the early adopters.
Remember, if your audience doesn’t know about your offering, it’s as good as not having it.
The marketplace of today is highly competitive. Businesses are ready to make a real investment to get their share of the pie.
This is why you have to put in the needed extra effort to actively reach out to your target audience. The more proactive you are in your approach, the better results you will see. The better the results, the quicker you will grow.
Social media makes it easy for you to build your web presence. It lets you connect to an audience that is not only ready to hear from you but also wants to do business with you.
Nowadays, most online users have some kind of social media presence. It’s just about finding the best social media platforms your target audience hangs out with the most.
Work on producing social content that gets you to connect with them on a certain emotional level.
Increase the Number of Branded Searches
To begin, grow your audience and build a strong brand. This is a huge part of any online marketing campaign. Social media marketing is no different.
Your social media profiles help you create a relationship with your audience.
Post constant social media updates supplying quality information on a regular basis. Followers will come to recognise your brand.
They know who you are and what kind of content you create. They will start seeing you as a trusted source. When done right, social media marketing helps you grow your brand awareness.
Want more people clicking on your content in the search engine result pages? It will come naturally as you grow and when more people become aware of your product or service.
Since Google and other search engines give immense importance to click-through rates. This can significantly impact your rankings and increase your visibility.
Also, keep in mind that these clicks are far more valuable in the eyes of Google because they have a lower bounce rate.
Why? Because these people are already aware of your brand. Which means, fewer of them are going to hit the “back” button once they visit your page.
Since bounce rate does correlate to the ranking of a website. Lowering it gives you an edge over other competing sites.
By doing so you grow brand awareness on social media. You also have more people specifically searching for your brand.
This then goes on to boost the organic search traffic to your website. As well as your social media pages / profiles.
Tap Into Local Search
You cannot and should not ignore the power of local SEO. If you’re a small or a medium-sized business with a physical address.
Google knows the importance of geography. As a result, its relevance to giving people a better user experience.
A large majority of users are searching for a local business on their mobile devices. Local business searches are bound to grow.
Keep every profile updated with your current address, phone number, business name, etc.
Have the same information across all profiles. Which should in turn match with the information on your site. Or else you may experience lower rankings and miss out on potential customers.
Best Practices for Social Media SEO
You should align your social media marketing efforts with your SEO strategy. This should be considered at every step of the strategy.
Why? Because you don’t want to lose traffic from either side.
Here are some social media SEO best practices that you shouldn’t ignore if you want to find success.
Publish High-Quality Content
Search engine optimisation is no longer what it used to be. It’s a lot more mature and approachable.
You need to focus on creating fresh, original content. This gives immense value to your target audience. Your social media content will also rank for the right keywords.
Forget about stuffing your social content with keywords.
Instead, focus on producing content that naturally attracts links. Give people exactly what they’re looking for. Your posts will climb the search engine ladder effortlessly.
The most important step to publishing high-quality content. Get into the shoes of your target audience and understand what they’re looking for.
It’s not just about who you share your content with, but also about what you’re sharing. It has to be useful or resourceful in some way to your potential customers or prospects.
Make Social Sharing Easy
Encouraging social sharing to ensure your content reaches more people. Your target audience already has the need for the content you’re creating.
Connect your business with a larger segment of the social web through targeted content. You will increase the reach of your message, which also improves the brand’s visibility.
In order to make it easy for people to share your content on social media. Go beyond just adding social media buttons to your site.
Work on making your content helpful as well as entertaining. Make it enticing enough to have them talk about it.
You have to motivate people to share your content with their following. If you can achieve this, your following will grow rapidly.
Optimise Your Social Profiles
While there are many factors that negatively impact your social media SEO results. One which is obvious is not optimising your social media profiles.
By optimising your profiles with relevant content you create multiple “doorways”. This helps people to learn about you and your business. The more people know about you, the more will follow and the faster you will grow your presence.
Make sure your social profiles are consistent with your website. It’s the easiest way to rank and dominate the search engine result pages. In return, equals a higher number of clicks and increased organic traffic.
Optimise Your Images for Both, SEO and Social
Images are powerful when it comes to conveying a message or expressing your thoughts.
But there’s another area where they play a key role and that is search engine optimisation.
That’s right – if you’ve been ignoring images in favour of text, you’re making a mistake.
The fact is, images can have a strong impact. Images help you drive organic traffic to your site if you manage to optimise them well.
Start off by optimising your images for search by using the keyword in the file name. Add the right alt text and use relevant surrounding text.
At the same time, you have to optimise them for social sharing by making sure they’re inspiring. They must be in the right format and are posted on all the social media platforms your business is on.
These things may look simple or trivial but they make a big difference in the long run.
Measure Social Media Performance
Know where you’re going and measuring your progress. This makes your SEO & social media efforts pay off.
Regardless of your marketing goals. By measuring and analysing your actions and their results, you can get better results. Leading you to grow your following more efficiently.
The last thing you want is to put your efforts in the wrong direction.
Proper tracking and analysing lets you understand what’s working and what’s not. So that you can focus on improving the right metrics.
Whether your goal is to keep track of the number of social media shares per post. Or see how much social referral traffic you’re generating. It’s important to measure the metrics that according to you are helpful.
Before you jump on the social media SEO bandwagon, be clear about your actions, and how you will measure them.
Let go of any guesswork and move your attention towards data to grow. You will have the needed clarity to move forward.
Need help incorporating your social media and SEO efforts to grow your business? Contact us today to learn how our packages can help your business.