It has become obvious that the line between social media and search engine optimization hasn’t just become blurred, it has vanished. Most business owners and CEO’s today understand that both SEO and Social Media strategies are both critical parts of the marketing mix. In the past these have been stand-alone strategies, but now SEO cannot successfully exist without Social Media and great content marketing.
What Is Social SEO?
Social SEO is a simple term to describe the blend of search engine optimization, social media, and content marketing. As Google continues to improve the user experience by delivering more relevant results in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), social media sites have become a powerful player. Social media sites not only rank well but can help a business’s other owned assets (websites, blogs, landing pages) rank well by providing powerful inbound links.
Social media sites hold very high authority in the eyes of the search engines and therefore having links coming from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, or Google + can boost your website’s rankings significantly. In a study done by BrightEdge, 75% to 90% of top ten results in the SERPs have at least one Like, Retweet, or Google +1. Pushing your content out through social media platforms with links back to your webpages also reduces indexation time and helps the Googlebot find your pages faster. The faster they are found the faster they can rank.
Any business should leverage the fact that these sites are so powerful and have profiles on all of them. The more real estate you can control on the first page of a search engine the more visibility and traffic your brand will receive.
For example, typically when you do a search for a person’s name or a brand name you will see their social media pages near the top.
In this example, when I searched my name in Google, the first four results consist of my profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Internet Marketing Inc.’s website. The same can be true for your business.
Social sites also provide the best platforms for marketing your brand’s great content such as blogs, videos, white papers, eBooks, and press. Your audience will share content they find relevant and interesting. Shared content becomes viral and people will link to it. The more links your online assets receive the higher they will rank in the SERPs. Therefore, it is critical to support SEO with the use of social media.
8 Social SEO Strategies Your Business Should Start Doing Now
Now that we have established what Social SEO is, let’s look at what a brand can be doing to bridge the gap between SEO and Social Media. These Social Media tips will get you started!
- Combine Your Social Media and SEO Teams: There is really no reason these two teams should be separate any longer. They need to work as a cohesive unit developing great content and using social strategies for marketing that content to your audience.
- Create Sharable Content: This part is critical and will make or break your success. Your brand must use your keyword strategy to then develop interesting topics and create content around those topics. Take your time and do your research. A well-planned infographic for example can generate tons of social media buzz and drastically improve your link profile.
- Post Your Sharable Content on Your Social Media Sites: Once you have created a great piece of content, you need to get it out to your audience. Let’s say for example your team has created a great blog with amazing facts and figures your audience would love to know about. Post a link to it from Facebook and Twitter with a brief comment or call to action about why they might want to check it out. See the example below for a post on Facebook promoting an infographic about birth control:
- Build Relationships Online: Build relationship and a following by building trust. How do you do this? By offering great content, by being consistent, and by actively reaching out to your audience and interacting. Also, reach out to others in your industry online and connect with bloggers and experts. Read and comment on their blogs and link to them. As relationships are built, they will return the favor.
- Add “Share” Icons to Pages That Your Audience Will Want to Distribute: Have your web developer add icons for Facebook Share, Retweet, Pin It, Google +1, and Stumbleupon to any relevant pages that people might want to share.
- Get On Pinterest: Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site out there and your brand needs to be on it. Google now crawls Pins and Boards on Pinterest so optimize them with relevant keywords. You can hash tag keywords on each Pin. Here are some interesting facts about Pinterest:
- Create Easy To Share Tools: Online tools can be just about anything that would be interesting or helpful to your audience. You can make tools easily downloadable or embeddable which makes them easy to share and become viral. This is a fast and fun way to provide value and gain new inbound links.
- Use Facebook Social Plugins: Facebook provides different types of plugins that encourage different types of engagement. Here are a few below:
These eight strategies will get you started. The most important aspect of all of this is to have a plan and ensure that plan supports your overall brand marketing and business objectives. Social SEO is a part of your marketing mix that you can’t ignore!