Identifying how the two strategies work together to benefit your digital marketing efforts
Before diving in and discovering the link between SEO & social media, it is important to have a full understanding of the digital marketing strategies being discussed.
SEO stands for search engine optimization and it has proven to be time after time the most trusted channel by consumers. The efforts made by SEO work to increase your visibility in the search engine results whether it be Google, Bing or another search engine. Optimizing your site for SEO improves your PageRank, improves your placement in the map pack and overall exposes your site to more impressions in the search results. There are many factors that contribute to where your page ranks but today we are going to be discussing an indirect factor.
As you probably already guessed, that indirect factor is social media. In particular, organic social media. Organic social media is the content posted directly to your profile and will be seen on your follower’s news feeds. It is important to post organically to stay in touch with your customer base and build relationships online. With Facebook’s new algorithm being more people-based, the goal is for Facebook to be a place where people can interact with one another and spark discussions. This makes it more important than ever for businesses to publish content that is relevant, timely and encourages engagement.
As of 2019, there are 3.48 billion social media users! This makes it imperative for businesses to have a consistent presence on social media. These platforms allow you to reach a vast majority of your target audience all in one place while creating brand awareness for your company. Remember, don’t just try to sell to your followers. Be engaging and spark conversations!
Is Social Media a Ranking Factor For SEO?
The answer is not that simple. We now know that social media is only an indirect factor for SEO, but this particular question doesn’t end with just a yes or no answer. Even though it is not a direct ranking factor, it has significance in SEO if you look deeper. Google has shared that social signals are now impacting organic PageRank more so than in the past and several brands have reported a direct correlation between an increase in their social signals and a rise in their search rankings. Let’s dig a little deeper into the correlation between a site’s position in Google’s search engine results pages and the usage and strategies behind a company’s social media platforms.
Discovering The Link
So what is the link here? What is working to build this correlation between these two very different digital marketing strategies? What social media is doing for SEO is amplifying the ranking factors that Google does consider, factors Google has declared as direct ranking factors that are going to drive up a website’s organic traffic. Something to note, is that we know that quality is always going to be important to Google and it will continue to be important as Google’s algorithm is continuously working and updating in order to give users the most qualified results for what they are searching. So with social media, Google can use the presence of social signals to help speak to the quality of a business.
Social Sharing & External Link Building
Social media distributes the most information online. These platforms are built for mass sharing and not only is all of the sharing adding up to more visibility for your content, but shared content is more likely to earn backlinks. As mentioned earlier, 3.48 billion people are on social media sharing content. You can share blogs, videos, infographics, products and more. With putting this content out on your social media pages to share, you’re not only directing traffic straight to your website but you’re also building quality backlinks.
Search Intent & Social Media Following
The interaction and searches being made on social media platforms are continuing to advance. People are now using the search bars on Facebook and Twitter and other social platforms to find information. As of 2019, there are more than 2 million searches performed on both Twitter and Facebook daily. As SEOs we can use these social media searches to identify keywords that should be added into our strategies while also identifying user’s search intent to specify what it is they are looking for and applying that to your website. Vice versa, the same strategies that help optimize your website for search can also be equally as effective on your social media profiles and posts. Tell the reader and the search engine what your post will be about, use traditional keywords in the title and description of the post. Blending the two together makes it easier for customers to find you no matter what engine or platform they’re using to search.
The great thing about social media is that you can establish authority in your field. You can interact with influencers and enthusiasts, other brands and businesses that are prevalent in your industry and get yourself out there amongst your competitors. When you establish this authority in your field on social, it makes it easier for search engines to recognize the credibility and usefulness of your website by seeing who is interacting with your brand online.
Brand Awareness & Online Reviews
Sharing information about your brand on social media helps connect you to your industry and the consumers around it. On social media you can develop the tone and feel of your brand. Are you a family-owned and operated? Give them a glimpse of how you treat customers like family when they do business with you. Social media is the best platform to be able to develop that voice and the personality of your business. There are studies that show there is a correlation between strong brands and their strength in search performance. So increasing your brand awareness through social media is also going to increase your website authority, create a buzz around your brand, and help consumers gain that extra bit of trust they needed to give you their business.
And last, but definitely not least, is online reviews. Digital marketing companies everywhere will stress how important reviews are for your business not only to gain new customers, but also rank well on Google. Outside of Google Reviews, social media platforms like Facebook have the tools to help you generate great online reviews. Social media has now become a place where consumers often go to check reviews of a business before making a purchase, or go to leave a review after they have already made a purchase and want to talk about their buying experience. It is important to respond to these reviews, whether they are good or bad, and let your customers know you are taking note of their feedback. Research shows that 74% of consumers use social media to guide their purchasing decisions while 90% of consumers say reading positive reviews online impact their purchasing decisions.
Optimize Your Social Media Profiles For SEO
Optimizing your social media profiles for SEO not only leads to an increase in organic traffic to your website, but also creates maximum visibility. You’ll want to optimize all your different profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and create a consistent look across all channels allowing for easy brand recognition. You should be posting regularly, but not an overwhelming amount. You don’t want to lose followers because you are saturating their newsfeeds. We recommend posting content to your pages about 2-4 times a week that encourages your followers to share it to their pages. Play around with catchy headlines or attention-grabbing images! People get distracted today faster than ever and visuals are able to deliver a message in just seconds. The content you are producing should also be useful and resourceful to your audience. Focus on creating fresh, original content that your followers will see as valuable. Lastly, you need to be active on your accounts. Share local-related content and promote involvement in local events, take part in conversations with your followers, and be responsive to reviews and comments. Having an active profile helps improve the potential audience reach for your posts.
SEO & Social Media Working Together
Overall, it is really about how SEO and social media can work together for the benefit of your brand. You need to create quality content that people want to share while also building brand awareness. You need to stay engaged on social media. It is the interaction that matters. You can have thousands of followers, but if none of them are engaging with you and sharing your content, it’s not benefiting your brand or boosting your rank. Make those connections on social media with consumers! And lastly, you need to be following the user intent of searches. Analyze how consumers are searching and what they are searching in order to come across your business online within social media platforms and within search engines and use what you find to develop new keywords for your website and social pages.