Social media is much more than having an online presence. It comes with a host of benefits starting from brand recognition, marketing, advertising, to customer service. What about SEO benefits? Experts say the relationship between social media and SEO is complicated. Let’s explore that in detail.
Does Social Media Benefit Your SEO Effort?
A few years ago, nobody could have guessed what social media would become. Facebook is the ultimate social media superpower. Instagram has 700 million users, MySpace no longer exists and Google algorithms have changed. Since the social media landscape has changed, so has the relationship between a search engine and SEO practices. But what is this relationship exactly?
Google wasn’t sure about the role of social media in its ranking algorithm a decade ago. However, they have confirmed that social media pages are indexed the same way other web pages are indexed. That means a social link is counted as a link.
On other occasions, Google has stated that social metrics do not constitute direct ranking factors. When you take a look at Bing, they consider the authority of social media profiles when it comes to search engine ranking. Therefore, whether Google admits it not, social media metrics have some role to play in boosting the ranking of your website.
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SEO Benefits of a Solid Social Media Presence
Watching my close friend run a marketing recruitment agency for a few years now, I can tell you having a strong social media presence plays a significant role in SEO. Back then. he started his business with just a website ignoring social media, which didn’t help at all. But after creating social media profiles and posting on them regularly, traffic spiked.
Following are the SEO benefits which a social media presence can get you:
1. Superior Backlinks
Everyone knows that the more backlinks on a page, the higher the chances of ranking on search engines. It can take you to the first page of Google.
Google has built an intelligent algorithm over the course of years that’s pretty sharp at weeding out bad links. But having more links doesn’t mean all kinds of links are acceptable. Only authoritative domains count. In fact, it all starts by creating high-quality content. So, use guest blogging, forums, and social media to gain quality backlinks.
The key is to create engaging content and post it on your business social media pages with a link to your website. If social media users re-share your post, chances are someone will create content links back to your site.
2. A Chance to Appear in SERP
Having social media profiles means your social media pages will appear in SERP. If you search for let’s say FedEx, the top searchers will include their website and social media pages (probably Twitter or other popular social media handles). This means you are not just occupying one spot on Google’s search results (i.e. with your website) but at least 4 to 5 more spots based on your social media profiles.
The trick lies in understanding how social media influences search engine results page. Each search engine works on the basis of relevancy. The results appear based on the relevance of the words entered in the search tab. When a business adds social media into its marketing plan, it’s making itself get noticed by showing up organically in the SERPs. This means you are increasing traffic to your site.
Don’t just create social media profiles. Share content (videos, product posts, contests, blog posts, and more), to get noticed by Google. Quality content is the key to moving the rank of your social media profiles to the top pages of search engines.
3. Target an Engaged Audience
Building high-value content to boost your SEO ranking starts with knowing your audience first. Dedicate your efforts and come up with a methodical approach to find an audience that is interested in your products and services.
Ask yourself these questions to find the targeted audience:
- Who is the user of your product/service?
- Which age group is most likely to use them?
- Who does your target audience follow on social media?
- When are they most active on social media?
Use social media management tools to find an audience based on gender, age, location, habits, interests, purchasing power, and other insights. QuickSprout is a wonderful tool. It lets you conduct research based on customer persona.
4. Increased Brand Awareness
Did you know various social networks together can drive more than 31% traffic to your websites? If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, you are missing out on the opportunity to boost your search engine ranking.
Every business wants to increase traffic to its site. At the same time, they want to improve user engagement, too. If your potential customers are easily able to find you on the Internet, you can achieve both these goals. Social media comes to the rescue here.
The posts that you share on social media pages increase your search engine visibility hence giving your brand more exposure.
Tips for Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles for SEO
Image source: Creazilla.
Ready to get SEO benefits from your social media campaign? Great! You must optimize your social media presence to maximize visibility. So here are some tips that will help:
Update All Your Social Media Profiles
First of all, you must update your social media profiles. Add a cover, profile picture, bio, include your site’s link, connect all social profiles, etc. But remember that all profiles must have a consistent brand image. If you are not present on popular platforms (like Pinterest or YouTube), sign up right away.
Merely a presence is not enough for the case of social media. It will only help if your social accounts are active. So, post regularly. Create a content calendar and schedule your posts. On some platforms like Twitter, you must post multiple times a day.
Figure out the right time to post – probably when your target audience is most active. The content shared must be valuable and relevant to your business.
Post Shareable Social Content
In order to make sure your social media updates are spread like fire, make them shareable. Wondering how to do that? Craft viral headlines, use catchy images, and ASK to share.
Make use of hashtags. They are just like keywords. They categorize your content and help social media users find it. The use of hashtag varies from one social platform to another. Don’t use them all at once. Figure out what works well for each platform use accordingly.
Optimize Your Blog Posts for Social Sharing
Depending on your business, there is a good chance your website has a blog. And you are likely to post on it daily. So don’t forget to share these blog posts on social media. Use catchy headlines and optimize your content with the right keywords. Moreover, add social sharing buttons on your content. This way, it will make it easier for readers to share content on their social media profiles.
The content’s visibility increases when you add videos, which show up in search results. Even if you create promotional content and share it on social media profiles. This would make your videos appear on the top 3 search positions.
Keep on Engaging
Last but not least, don’t forget that social media and SEO are not the types of strategies that you can set and forget. Consistent engagement is required to amplify the success rate.
These are some ideas for creating engaging posts for better social media presence:
- Connect with influencers in your industry and ask them to promote your product or service. Then, repost these shares on your social media pages. This helps in building audience trust.
- Be quick in responding to reviews, comments, and shares. The more actively you respond, the more likely your content will be recognized by the social media algorithm.
- Take an active part in conversations on different platforms. This is a smart way of getting noticed.
- Keep the content flowing. All social media platforms are fast-moving. Your post can soon disappear from the news feed of your followers. Therefore, to keep up with it, update as much as you can (but staying within boundaries).
- Organize contests and giveaways. This is a chance to connect with your audience and build trust. If you live up to their expectations, they are going to recommend you to a friend.
Will Social Metrics Ever be a Direct Ranking Factor?
Search engines are not yet ready to fully use social metrics as a DIRECT ranking factor. Problems include limited access to bots for crawling social media platforms. How does a search engine view fake profiles and the bought likes is yet unknown. Will the metrics change in the future? No one knows.
Let’s not forget a business can generate revenue directly from its social media pages regardless of its influence on search engine ranking. Don’t underestimate the importance of social media campaigns for bringing profits.
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Whether you are an IT staffing agency or a beauty brand, if you are struggling to boost your site’s ranking, you must start taking social media presence seriously. Even if a minor percentage of traffic comes from social pages, it’s a good sign.
This article is written by Stephen N.Mills from CGT Staffing.
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