With the era of digital marketing transformations upon us, search engine optimization is constantly evolving in line with content marketing.
Have you ever considered how you can gain by bringing the two together, that is, SEO and social media strategy? The formula may seem foreign to you, but your social media activity can actually affect your SEO ranking in an indirect way.
Bringing your SEO and social media efforts onto one plane can help maximize your brand exposure as a result. Why not apply the SEO techniques you’ve already mastered to your social media strategy and watch it bloom?
This article will highlight the logic behind this brilliant combo and then break down five strategies you can use to kickstart your social media SEO efforts.
Why Use Social Media for SEO?
The answer is quite simple: if you have strong social signals, your chances of boosting your visibility on search engines is higher. But this is through an indirect effect, not as a direct consequence of your efforts.
Confused? Let me explain.
Google, for instance, doesn’t take social media share statistics into account when ranking a content piece for SERP. However, Hootsuite tested this in a 2018 study, observing the SEO result of articles that were promoted on social media versus those that weren’t. Content pieces with social shares had a 22% boost on their SEO results!
This shows that there is an indirect effect at play here that can help your audience find your brand. And social media is behind it.
More and more companies are beginning to value the commercial benefits social media has to offer. The concept of social commerce is a rising trend. SEO shares a commonality with the goals of social media in this way. Both spaces want to, in essence, attract more people to the website or product/service offering.
This potential for a hand-in-hand partnership can help you achieve your goals, whether it’s short term (for example, promoting a new product/service) or long term (optimizing your sales funnel).
And for it to work? You have to develop both a solid SEO plan and social media strategy.
Pro-tip: Leverage smart management tools to streamline your strategies and make your day-to-day social media marketing tasks more efficient. The benefits of having a clear process will help you transition these strategies to the SEO space.
Here are three reasons why you should go with social media for SEO:
1. Social media content is also indexed
If you produce an attractive piece of content on social media that garners many views, it has chances of getting indexed by search engines.
The question is whether or not that content is relevant enough for the audience’s search query.
But this can help attract an audience to your website if it is being referenced within that social media post. For example, if a post you make on Facebook about a new seasonal sale offered on your website goes viral, your website SERP will be impacted in kind.
2. It helps build authority and audience following
Although social sharing is not a direct factor considered by search engines, a website’s authority is. This means if your website has consistently published good content and built strong backlinks, you rank better in terms of authority.
When you share your content on social media platforms, you’re giving it another place to thrive and connect with an audience. This can lead to more backlinks to your own website by those who find the content relevant to their interests.
Think of it as a ‘retweet’ but for your own site.
By leveraging social media, you, therefore, boost the opportunity for building more backlinks.
3. Social media brings in the human element
SEO is quite technical in nature but social media is all about human interaction on the web. This is important because at the end of the day, who are all your SEO efforts targeted toward? People.
Social media allows you the opportunity to get to know your audience better and develop valuable insights. This can be obtained through customer forums or community pages. An innovative way to do this is by integrating a chatbot into your website.
By addressing customer queries in real-time, you can create a better user experience for them, boosting the inbound traffic to your website and in turn, improving your SEO ranking.
Social Strategies to Boost Your SEO
The key to success here is building strategies that work for your brand and website. Take what you already know about SEO and the best practices from your social media campaigns, and build a strategy around it.
Pro-tip: consider doing a website analysis prior to this integration so you are aware of what gaps to address. This allows you to kill two birds with one stone.
Here are four basic strategies you can use to get started. Feel free to tweak and modify them according to your brand’s needs.
Strategy #1: Have the foresight for link opportunities
Are you using social media to promote your content? Your answer should be yes.
For example, a fellow content creator may see a link to a blog post you make and cite it later in their own website. By doing so, you gain visibility to a new audience and the number of organic visitors.
Although you might already be doing this, here’s how you can do it better: by thinking ahead.
- As you work on building your content, think ahead to how you can best promote it on social media, for example, on the basis of the type of content and which platform has the best chances for more backlinks.
- Maintain a handy list of your top-performing content pieces that can be reshared on social media to keep it relevant.
- Look for opportunities to boost your website, not just your product/service, through social media campaigns such as Instagram or Facebook giveaways.
- If it isn’t already, integrate social media sharing options into your website.
Strategy #2: Transfer your keyword expertise
One of the most useful techniques that you can transfer from your SEO practices to social media is the use of keywords.
You can do this by leveraging keyword research tools available.
Here’s a handy list of steps you can go about duplicating your SEO keyword expertise for your social media marketing efforts:
- Identify the areas and themes that drive your potential audience’s social media shares.
- Short-list the specific keywords and phrases used to search on these platforms.
- Compare this list with your SEO keywords list and identify the commonalities.
- Leverage these duplicate keywords on both lists across the various social media platforms you use.
- Keep this list handy for your reference as you continue to produce and share more content.
Strategy #3: Build partnerships with influencers
Social media builds brilliant opportunities for strategic partnerships with fellow collaborators and influencers.
If you aren’t already, follow popular social media influencers in your niche. Research their best practices and observe their journey to building a strong audience following. By incorporating their best practices into your own, you can strengthen your social media strategy.
You can also look for opportunities to partner with these influencers directly. Consider these different forms of partnership opportunities available on social media:
- Brand ambassadors: Look out for active social media users that have a voice and impact in your niche. Anything from product/service reviewers to a passionate customer who re-shares related brand content for their followers applies here. These unpaid brand ambassadors can boost awareness of your brand and create linkbacks to your website content.
- Social media influencers: These are individuals who are authentic and have high visibility in their own niche, due to their authority and expertise in the area. By gaining their positive word-of-mouth on your brand, you can generate more social media shares and relevant search queries leading to greater interest in your website.
- Strategic collaborators: These can be from a wide range of sources within your industry, for example, even fellow competitors. By co-creating content with them, you both stand to gain from creating exposure to both your audiences.
These partnerships are enabled through the use of social media and can provide opportunities to get your brand out there and link back to your website and content that otherwise would be difficult if you did so yourself.
Strategy #4: Go visual with videos
Engaging with your customers through visually stimulating posts can generate a greater response from than text-based. Whether this involves the use of GIFS or embedding whole videos into a blog post, people like interacting with these forms of content.
Videos also show up as results on the search engine pages. If done right, you can use a video-related social media strategy to act as a sales funnel to your website and improve your SEO-based performance.
The key here lies in the quality of your output. A video is only as effective as the work you put into producing it.
With video-based content being consumed on a daily basis, customers know what they’re looking for. However, there are a number of great video-editing tools that can be used to help you create rockstar content.
Apart from the video itself, here are some pointers to keep top of mind as you incorporate this strategy:
- Upload whole videos, no matter the platform: Creating native video content is more impactful than linking to Youtube or your website. Share the video wholly on the platform and add a link back to your website for the interested customer.
- Try telling a story: Your video should address a need that your customers have. The best way to draw them in is through the classic storytelling technique. Using relevant hashtags and keywords to the video can also increase engagements.
- Add a catchy CTA: This could be a direct link to your website or any relevant content. For example, “Sign Up Now” or “Learn More”, which can tie into your broader SEO goals.
Bring Social to your SEO
The internet, in its entirety, is a social place at its core. Focusing entirely on the SEO side can blind you from the perks of increasing traffic to your website through social platforms, and the consequent impact it can have on your search rankings.
Finding success in these strategies is all based on a trial-and-error procedure. Testing each strategy, identifying what works best and duplicating that success can take your social media SEO strategies to the next level.
So don’t be afraid to dedicate this time to integrating your social media campaign with SEO practices. It can improve your brand effectiveness and in the long run, boost your business success.