How to Use Social Media to Boost Your SEO Campaign
Search engine optimization (SEO) has almost become synonymous with content marketing. Because you need a steady stream of quality, optimized content in order to fuel your SEO campaign, many business owners focus a disproportionate amount of attention to cultivating the best possible content. However, there are many other outlets for ongoing SEO you’ll need to consider if you want to maximize results.
Social media is sometimes seen as a separate entity, deserving of a separate strategy. While it can be used independently, it’s better if you use it in alignment with your SEO strategy so you can get the best of both worlds. With certain social media strategies, you’ll be able to improve your brand awareness through social channels and simultaneously increase your domain authority, which will get you to rank higher for user searches of all varieties.
Build Your Following
One factor Google takes into consideration for domain authority is the following you have on your social platforms. As a simple example, if your brand has 10,000 likes on Facebook and 10,000 followers on Twitter, you’ll have a higher authority and higher search rankings than a similar brand with 100 likes and 100 followers. Build your following by regularly posting interesting material, and engaging your audience directly by responding to their comments or opening up public discussions. Check for updates multiple times throughout the day, and be personable to attract even more people.
A word of caution: Google is able to tell when your following is real and when it is comprised of spam accounts. Don’t resort to paying for new likes or followers directly; doing so typically fills your audience with bot accounts or fake profiles, which will do more harm than good for your online reputation. Stick to building your audience naturally, even if it takes longer.
Share Your Content
Social media is also a perfect opportunity to extend the reach of your content. For example, if you write a new extended blog post about a news item related to your industry, you can get it in front of thousands of new eyes just by sharing it with your followers.
The first benefit to this is obvious; you’ll get more attention and earn more traffic to your site. This is a good thing, but it only peripherally benefits SEO (by making your site look more popular). The more direct SEO benefit is that it will encourage more people to become aware of your content, and link to it on their own sites. That diverse link pool will pass authority to your domain, giving you the power of dozens of links without the time it takes to build them manually.
Optimize Your Posts for Search
As illustrated by the recent rejoining of Twitter and Google as partners, it’s possible that your tweets and posts will show up in Google search results. Therefore, you’ll want to optimize those posts so they have the greatest chance of showing up. You can do this by including keywords that are likely to be searched for; for example, taking advantage of new trends and current events is a solid approach. You can also post content such as infographics or videos, and frame them with a question you would imagine your target demographics searching for, such as “how to wire an electrical outlet” if you’re an electrician.
Even if they don’t show up in Google’s results directly, optimizing your posts with keywords relevant to your brand can help cement your reputation for being an expert in those subjects. After all, Google does crawl social media platforms just as much as it crawls websites.
Use Viral Content to Earn Shares
The number of shares and retweets you earn on social media is another factor that can contribute to your overall domain authority. If you have a piece of content that earns 1,000 shares, your reputation will increase and you’ll inch up in the rankings as a result.
Creating content that earns such a rave response is tricky, but can be done if you invest the right time and resources. First, you’ll need to use a visual medium like an infographic, a video, or a strong visual component to a written blog. It will need to be informative, relevant, practical, entertaining, and in some way surprising, but most of all, it will need to be unique — something your audience has never seen before. Post it at the right time, promote it however you can, and hopefully your audience will take care of the rest.
Engage With Similar Businesses
Finally, if you’re looking to optimize your site for local searches, try engaging with similar businesses on social media. Look for businesses in your neighborhood, or companies in your industry near where you operate. Engage with them by sharing some of their content, and commenting on their profiles. They should return the favor and help you grow your audience in turn. When Google sees you engaging with other brands, it will learn to associate you with them, and your relevance will increase as a result.
These strategies aren’t temporary. You can’t implement them once and hope to gain the benefits from them. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to execute them on a recurring basis as part of your ongoing strategy, and nurture your audience to see corresponding growth in search. When executed and developed properly, the alignment of social media and SEO proves to show exponential returns, greatly increasing your traffic month after month for the first few years.