The relationship between social media and SEO has been a matter of dispute for a long time. Search engines claim that they do not consider social signals a ranking factor. However, an overlap of social media and SEO is evident; by using it in the right way, you may reap a lot of benefits.
Let's take a look at several ways your social media strategy may affect your overall organic visibility and enhance your website rankings.
A strong social media presence helps to increase your brand awareness, that’s an incontestable fact. When users are familiar with your brand via social networks, they are more likely to search for your domain name. So focus on increasing your visibility in social media, and your visibility in organic search will increase as well.
- Create unique and visually attractive pieces of content (for example, awesome infographics) and actively promote them. Build relationships with influencers and encourage them to share your content with their audiences. Not all posts will include links to your website, but chances are that people who see this content will Google search your branded keywords.
Let’s consider an example: you write a new blog post and share it on Twitter. If this piece of content is valuable and of interest, it will be shared and retweeted by your followers, and then by their followers and so on. Thus the reach of your content expands and a buzz is created around your website. And in the end, your content may be spotted by a blogger or a journalist who decides to mention it in their own post or overview and link it back to your website.
- Track mentions of your branded keyword. You can easily do that with tools like BuzzSumo and Mention.
- Make sure to thank every author who has mentioned you.
- If appropriate, you could ask for a link instead of a citation.
Google takes into account Google+ activity and provides users with personalized results, assuming they are logged in. What exactly does this mean for you? Basically, it means that if you’ve published an article in Google+ about, let’s say, floristics, and a user connected to you searches for the same topic in Google, your post will be given prominence in their results. This way, your visibility increases in a very targeted way.
- Build an audience on Google+. Use CircleCount to find influencers and relevant people or companies in your industry, import contacts from your newsletter list and other marketing channels and interact with other users.
- Google+ posts rank in Google search results, so make sure you use keywords in your posts. Also pay attention to headlines, as they are displayed in Google search results. Use the headline of your blog post as the headline for your Google+ post.
Social media is the perfect channel for content distribution. Each shared piece of content contributes to your domain authority and credibility. If visitors coming to your website from social media, it’ll increase your website traffic. All these factors are taken into account by search engines, and they’ll boost your domain in organic results.
- Engage opinion leaders to share your content by mentioning them in your posts.
- Create a giveaway landing page on your website, so that people will be more motivated to share it.
- Post user-generated content and users will share it willingly!
Actually, social media profiles tend to be among the highest-rated results for brand searches. For example, when I searched for “SEMrush” in Google, the second and third results were Twitter and Facebook profiles; on the fifth and sixth places LinkedIn and Google+ appeared.
This way, even if your social media pages may not have a direct impact on your website’s positions, they will still ensure online visibility of your brand, not only in social media channels, but in organic search as well.
- Optimize your social media pages and profiles; pay special attention to your ‘About’ pages and your bio on Twitter.
An excellent advantage of Google+ for local businesses is its ability to increase a website’s rankings in local search. Listing your company in Google+ Local is a great way to drive traffic to your website. It also allows you to kill two birds with one stone – boosting your website visibility both in Google+ search and Google Web search.
- Verify your page and email.
- Make sure your NAP is consistent and up to date, and your Google Maps address matches your physical address exactly.
- Encourage people to write reviews about your business. Remember, quantity matters as much as quality!
Using relevant keywords is essential for successful SEO. By actively and consistently promoting your targeted words through social media, you will attract some traffic and, as a result, increase your website’s positions.
- Make a list of your targeted keywords with SEO/SEM specialists and use these keywords in your posts.
- Utilize A/B testing to find out which keywords work best and check SERPs in incognito mode to get de-personalized results.
- Fill in your profiles and descriptions using your targeted keywords, naturally incorporate them in your social media content – and use in hashtags.
Search engine crawlers use links to discover new or updated content. So, the more links that lead to your website’s page, the quicker search engines will index it. Considering that social media make it possible to generate a bunch of links in almost no time, it is an easy way to speed up how quickly your content is indexed. Such factors as the number of people who shared a link, their influence, and the period of time in which a particular number of shares was achieved are also taken into consideration.
- Put social sharing buttons on every page of your website, make them visible, and encourage people to share your content.
The ranking algorithms of search engines are inconstant. Today, social media does not directly impact your SEO, but that doesn’t mean the situation is not going to change. Aiming to provide the most relevant results, search engines complicate their algorithms, and social media is not likely to lose its importance as a digital marketing channel.
And if your social media presence starts to directly affect search results, those businesses that have correct social media profiles, good link building and a consistent content strategy for social media will have a great advantage.