DID YOU KNOW: Social media represents not only a valuable marketing tool for businesses and brands of all sizes; it is also a powerful tool which can immeasurably enhance search engine optimisation, or SEO.
SEO and social media marketing go hand in hand in any brand building strategy. A good SEO strategy will incorporate social media optimisation into its overall SEO effort, and social media is very connected to SEO.
Social media marketing that is executed in a smart way is a brilliant strategy for SEO.
What you need to know about SEO and social media
Social media is a great place to add links to your website and onsite blog. These links can have a significant impact on your overall search engine rankings.
When quality, unique content is shared via social media, search engines perceive the website to be credible and active, and specific targeted keyword rankings will follow. The more a link is clicked on or shared, the website gains higher authority with Google and other search engines.
Expert marketers believe that it’s not the authority of a social media profile that impacts on SEO, but the links that are published in said social media profiles.
What social media profiles do influence is the content of search engine results. Social media can, for many searches, be incorporated into the top search engine results for some brand names. This can be valuable because, not only do social profiles have links to websites, they also reflect the brand identity of a business. This personalises the brand, making it more engaging for consumers.
Social media as a search engine
Social media is increasingly being used as a search engine in and of itself. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in particular are fantastic tools for discovery.
With correct and clever use of hashtags, visual content, and blog links, brands can direct and capture the attention of consumers and funnel them to their business websites.
Many consumers explore a company first and foremost via its Facebook or Twitter profile. Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube are also search engines. Hence, social media optimisation is a valid entity.
- By 2010, Twitter managed nineteen billion searches per month
- Facebook handled one billion search queries per day in 2012
- YouTube receives close to four billion search queries a month.
As such, business marketers need to include not only traditional search engine optimisation practices into their strategy, but must also expand into social media for search optimisation.
It’s very important for business social profiles to count – and users need to be able to quickly identify and locate the page they are seeking. General brand pages must be distinct from press or HR pages, and duplicate accounts should be deleted to maximise the reach of social media as a search engine.
The benefits of social media in SEO
- Direct link sources for indexing – some social media platforms provide SEO links. Search engines pay attention to these and links provided allow new pages to be quickly indexed.
- Direct traffic for SEO – popular posts on social media can draw in an enormous volume of traffic. This provides great SEO benefit in indirect links. Social media sites themselves aren’t given much link value by search engines, however social media is sought by publishers and webmasters for references; it is these that improve rankings.
- High ranking potential – top social media platforms have a high authority and ranking potential. With well-targeted keywords, great content that is unique and dynamic, profiles will rank and this in turn creates multiple search listings for a brand.
How to improve SEO with your social media
- Links on social media are considered to be of high quality. This is thanks to the high authority of social media platforms from the outset. Due to this feature, your Facebook page, for example, could rank more highly with search engines than does your business website.
For this reason, it’s imperative that you include an easy to find, working link to your website from every social profile you use. This will be effective for link building and will also increase traffic to your website.
You can also build links within your content, for example posting new product content or blog posts with links on your social profiles. When these are highly shareable, search engines will sit up and take notice.
- Social media is also great for building your base of followers. When these followers are targeted and of high quality, they engage and interact with your page and will seek you out when you offer something they want.
Retweets, likes, comments, shares, etc are social signals that search engines take note of when providing ranks. Be very aware that fake likes and followers are easily identified by search engines – and they are frowned upon.
They will do your business no good. A steadily growing base of real interactive followers is what you need to aim for.
- Make sure that all social accounts for business are listed and set as public. This makes them searchable in search engines and easy to share.
- Use keywords in your posts! An active SEO campaign will be working on ranking your website for a targeted list of keywords and keyword phrases. These should be used in your social media content as well. If using Twitter or Instagram, use hashtags with your keywords.
- Local listings can be very useful on social media for business. This is especially important if you are a small business seeking local patronage, for example a plumber or electrician.
Social media optimisation should be an intrinsic aspect of your overall SEO strategy. Social media sharing of a website or brand is a great way for consumers to, in a sense, vote in favour of your business online.
This is what search engines pay attention to when using their algorithms for ranking purposes. Not all links are considered to be equal, and not all social media platforms are given as much traction as others. Choose your platform wisely and create a single, authentic account.
One of the best ways to optimise your content is to use LinkedIn as a promotion and blogging tool.
Not only do we share a bunch of valuable, relative and useful info on our blogs, but we’ve got a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of this platform especially for B2B enterprises. If LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, take a look at this course to raise your profile, generate leads and boost your business – so LinkedIn can start working for you.
The top 3 blogs on social media you need to feast your eyeballs on today:
- Busting social media myths and misconceptions for new businesses
BIZ CHALLENGE: As a new business or start-up enterprise, it can be a challenge to navigate the array of things you need to set in place for effective marketing.
This is particularly true when you don’t have vast amounts of capital behind you with which to pay for marketing, and revenue is still building – which is the case in the beginning stages of any business.