How to improve your SEO with a smart social media strategy

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People interact with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram differently than they do with search engines. Yet, the results of both are the same in some ways. Content is filtered, links are shared, and the most trusted sites get the most traffic. Together social media and SEO will complement and enhance your efforts in both areas. Social media content, for instance, can amplify your SEO campaign with content that is optimized for keywords and by generating more backlinks.

Five ways that your social media program can improve your SEO optimization:

  1. Increasing the Visibility of Your Content
    Although indirectly, social media can help your SEO through content promotion. No matter how great and keyword-optimized your content is, if it isn’t reaching your target audience it’s of little use. Social media allows you to take all of your quality content and promote it on a multitude of channels. Social media platforms give your content a new stage to encourage discussions.
    Take Facebook, for example, where the consumption of content has grown by 57%. The same study also reported that 76% of people use their Facebook feed to find interesting content.Tools like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are some of the easiest and most effective channels to push SEO content. Incoming links from your shares on social media may not be as impactful as high-quality backlinks. They can, however, improve your bounce rate and engagement rate.The biggest advantage of social media as a marketing channel is that it allows you to disseminate content to a large audience. By promoting your content on social platforms, your content can reach a lot of new people who may share it further.
    Social reach alone may not be much good for your SEO. But every reader could be a writer or editor who can provide you with natural links to your site in their content. Social sharing broadens and improves your inbound link potential.

    Google has started to index content from Twitter and Facebook, with other platforms likely to follow. Timed right, if your content is relevant, it will turn up as one of the top search results. Thus, posting on social media can open the way for further visibility on these platforms.

    Reinforce Backlinks and Guest Posts with Social Sharing
    Social channels are a way for search engines to establish that something is being spread around the Internet. All guest posts or other syndicated content links should be shared to followers and preferably re-shared to increase the potential of backlinks.

  2. Better Link Building
    Relevance and authority are two key factors search engines like Google consider when ranking search results. Relevance deals with how appropriately an entry meets the criteria of a search result. While authority deals with how trustworthy the source might be. Authority, for the most part, is determined by the number and quality of the inbound links your page has.Although the science behind the effect of backlinks on search rankings has evolved in recent years, it still plays an integral role. The number of quality backlinks you have can make or break your search rankings. A wider audience is the single most important reason why your social media pages are the perfect staging ground to earn quality backlinks. That’s because social media operates as a great syndication platform.Social media tools help people to stay connected and share their stories. For brands, that equates to sharing their best content and fostering relationships with their target audience.

    Engaging content leads to more shares, resulting in more opportunities for people to find and provide links to your content. In fact, in a Q&A session, Andrey Lipattsev, Google Ireland’s senior strategist, revealed Google’s top 2 ranking factors: content, and links pointing to your site.

    Content sharing on social media can also result in authentic, high-quality backlinks from prominent and influential websites. Influencers tend to use social media tools as much as, if not more than normal users. If your content is circulating in the same circles they are in; chances are they’ll come across it and link their blog posts to it.
    The thing is that this kind of high-quality link building from influencers would be virtually impossible if not for social media. That’s why it’s important to have an active social media page – to build a more diverse and authentic link profile. The better authority you gain, the more it improves your SEO.

  3. Improving Brand Awareness
    Another important way that social media contributes to your SEO is by increasing your brand awareness. At first glance, it may seem like more of a branding advantage than SEO. While that’s true that social media has amazing benefits for branding, indirectly, it can do a lot for your SEO too.Social media is another digital channel for your target audience to seek you out and engage with you. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to build your audience, and more importantly, your brand. The more that happens, the more people recognize you in search results and the more inclined they’ll be to click-through.That increased brand awareness you’ve built on social media results in more organic search traffic for your pages. Considering that these things contribute to your rank in branded searches, your SEO will only have one way to go – up.
    Generating informative brand and product content and sharing it on your social media is key as consumers want to make informed and educated purchase decisions.

    How? Collaborate with your influencers to come up useful and informative brand content, product descriptions, and reviews. Not only will this type of content contribute to your brand awareness and outreach, but it will also help customers make that final purchase decision. These could take the form of blog posts or videos.

    An increase in branded searches also increases the likelihood of you ranking well for non-branded keywords, and keywords are integral for surfers to find you.

  4. By Measuring and Optimizing
    That which can be measured can be improved. To get the most out of your social media campaigns, it’s critical that you regularly monitor and adjust your strategies. There are numerous metrics you can use to measure the impact social media is having on your search visibility.The first set of metrics you should be monitoring includes comments, shares, and brand mentions. Higher numbers mean more relevance and authority – two major driving factors for SEO. Increased credibility will have a positive impact on your search rankings.The second set of metrics you should be looking at relate to the impact social media has on your website. They include such things as visibility levels in search engine rankings, site traffic associated with it, and conversion rates. Lastly, it’s worth conducting an overall sentiment analysis, to check the impact on traffic, ranking, and sales.

    To understand which of your social media efforts are improving your SEO, you need to be able to measure these metrics. There are tools to provide you with easy to understand reports on your SEO rankings from which you can draw actionable insights.

    Social media works a lot like the search engines, so it’s imperative that you craft posts keeping both SEO and your target audience in mind. Additionally, optimizing your social media profiles will also benefit your rankings. While these may seem like minor details in the grand scheme of SEO, they add up to make a significant difference.

  5. Going Mobile, Local, and Social
    Mobile devices have overtaken desktops in internet usage and spent the bulk of their time on social apps, portals, and on search engines. Mobile adoption served as a prompt for 62% of marketers who optimized their blogs for mobile to boost SEO.Google recently switched to a mobile-first index. The links and content to your mobile site, plus other factors like user experience and speed are rank driving factors.76% of people who search for something nearby, on smartphones, visit a related business that same day. 28% of these searches end in a purchase.

    To create a meaningful local presence, it’s important that you optimize your local listings on directories, search engines, and review sites, and Google and Yelp are the two most important platforms you need to take care of.

    Once claimed, populate your profiles on these platforms with relevant content. Then monitor and update them regularly. You can even optimize your website for local searches and utilize Google Maps to provide driving directions.

    To gain some positive press, work with your local media. Media outlets often post stories online which can link back to your profiles on social media. Produced professionally, and coming from such credible sources, they are a recipe for more shares and better rankings.

    Although the two are quite different, integrate your social media marketing and SEO efforts because they can help each other.

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