Some days, it can feel challenging enough to keep up with the ever changing Google algorithm and the changing best practices for SEO let alone producing content and value through your social channels.
But social media and SEO are two closely related strategies and we all know that social media isn’t going anywhere. Today it is playing a larger and larger role in people’s decision-making processes and when managed correctly, your social media profiles can improve your position in the search engine rankings. If you’re unsure where to get started, here are a few ways social media can enhance your SEO efforts.
#1: Use Your Social Media Platforms To Gain Valuable Backlinks
Any good SEO knows how important credible quality backlinks are to gaining and maintaining a high search rank. In the past, any old backlink would do.
But people began manipulating the system and now Google doesn’t just look at the quantity of backlinks a site has, but at the quality of the links as well. Backlinks coming from social media sites are typically considered high quality links because popular social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have substantial web authority.
So even if your social profile is new, you can still benefit from the authority of the site. While it sounds obvious, don’t forget to include a working link to your website in each social profile for your business in addition to using links to your website in the content you post.
Another way to leverage your social profile to gain links is to create posts about a new piece of content on your site and boost it. When boosting this post, look to target it to bloggers and journalists in your niche, whether that be by job title, location or any number of ways you can target your ads. Getting your content in front of their eyes can be an awesome way to pick up coverage and links.
#2# Optimize Your Social Posts For The Local Market
One of the main benefits of social media platforms like Facebook is that they give you an easy way to start engaging your local market and community. The easiest way to do this is to share local news and events about your own company (for instance, maybe you’re holding a food drive to help the local food bank).
You can also interact with local businesses by commenting on their pages and posts and sharing their news on your page. Another good idea is to start meaningful conversations by reaching out and soliciting opinions from your followers. Sending local signals to search engines will help you rank in local searches.
You’ll also want to make sure you create a local listing on Google My Business that has your current (and correct) business name, address, and phone number, sometimes written out as the acronym NAP. This opens your business up to reviews on Google, and businesses with the highest reviews are favored on the search results page. Make sure this information is also correct on all your social media platforms and you’ve got a working map that makes it easy for customers to find you.
#3: Use Relevant Keywords In Social Posts
It’s no surprise keywords count when it comes to social platforms. While keywords seem to pack more of a punch on certain sites, like Pinterest and YouTube, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of using keywords in any social posts irrespective of the platform you’re posting on. This can boost traffic to your profile as well as to your website if you’ve included a link to it in your profile.
Not only that, but these platforms all have their own search functions that you should be optimizing for. It may not directly result in an increase in Google rankings, but optimizing your Facebook profile and posts can help you get in front of webmasters, bloggers and writers who can give you that valuable link or exposure.
#4: Make Your Content Searchable
Part of the reason you want to use keywords in your posts is to make your content searchable and shareable. When you’re creating your accounts, always check your security settings to make sure your content can be viewed by anyone, not just people in your network. This makes it easier for people to find you, and of course customers can’t engage with a brand if everything posted is private.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, there’s speculation that Google’s algorithm takes into account social shares. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the amount of shares a piece of content gets, the better it will rank. Every time someone shares your content, a link goes on their profile. If their profile isn’t shareable it can potentially be indexed and credit you with another link from the root domain of Facebook.
There are a number of ways you can encourage people to share your content. One quite popular way is by offering something in return. For instance, if someone shares your post maybe they’re automatically entered into a drawing to win something. You could also offer a discount code or coupon for shares. If anything else, this will increase your organic reach on social media and put your brand in front of many more eyes.
#5: Connect With Social Influencers
A great way to expand brand awareness is to connect with social influencers. “Influencers” is a buzzword unlikely to go away anytime soon. As long as social media remains ubiquitous, social influencers will exist. And you will want to learn how to connect with them.
People trust social influencers because of their perceived product knowledge and authority. Getting an influencer with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers to share your content introduces your brand to, well, tens or hundreds of thousands of people who otherwise wouldn’t have discovered it.
More importantly, it’s being introduced by someone whose opinions they’re interested in and probably respect. There are tons of ways to work with influencers. One of the most popular is offering a percentage of product sales when a customer uses the influencer’s unique code at checkout.
#6: Boost Brand Awareness
You might think this is a stretch, but establishing and maintaining a positive brand reputation on social media through quality content and engagement will build your brand presence, which in turn leads to more branded searches, and that helps your website rank for non-branded keywords as well.
Ultimately, your SEO efforts, social media campaigns, the content you create and share, it’s all for one purpose – to provide your customers with an elevated experience. Technology is leveling out the playing field, and customers are now choosing brands based on their experience, more so than price or convenience.
Give your customers a great experience and not only will they remain loyal, but Google will reward you with high rankings in their search results. As Gary Vaynerchuck says “give without expectation” by providing the user with value.