Social media and SEO are destined for a lifelong partnership. How your SEO feeds your social media growth or vice versa depends on how your funnel looks, but no matter how it looks, they have a built-in feedback loop.
In both social media networks and search engines, one of our primary objectives is discoverability. The more easily your target audience can find you, the closer you are to offering your products/services to them.
What Makes SEO and Social Media Work Together?
Earlier this year, Cision published a report on the state of the media, in it they showcased some of the main pain points reporters have when covering stories. Eric Schwartzman, author of The Digital Pivot suggests that SEO is the best way to conduct media relations.
SEO provides you with a way to offer your target audience the information they're looking for, without approaching them. But what about social media? How do they work together?
We tend to think of social media as top of the marketing funnel, raising awareness and creating enough interest to move them down the funnel.
We then hope to pass them on to our blog or other onsite content to nurture that interest to turn into consideration and intent.
Social media Content Ranks In Search Results
But social media content sometimes shows up off-platform as well. In fact, Google makes a habit of showing it when it finds it relevant.
Experts may be unsure of what Google uses or doesn't use in their algorithm, but it is abundantly clear that Google will present you with the most recent and relevant content for your search.
In the above example, we see Elon Musk's (1) tweets show up first, followed by (2) "People also ask" and then finally (3) Top stories from the news. At times when there aren't more recent tweets from Mr. Musk, a rarity, you will find the News section being the first.
But the point of this is to recognize that Google may not rank your page higher because of social media content, but it will show it, especially with branded content.
Google Analytics and Search Console highlights social media
Google Analytics also recognizes social networks as a traffic channel.
It isn't just enough to know the number of sessions, but we can also find how visitors get to our site on social media and what they do there.
Knowing the quality of traffic generated by social media, we can determine if we are indeed reaching the right audience or not. For example, if we notice that visitors from social media bounce immediately, we conclude that they were not looking for our content.
Social media profiles as a top of the funnel
Whenever you're sharing content on a social network, keep in mind that the network will likely penalize you for trying to take users off-platform. Each platform is fighting for every second a user spends on their platform and will encourage behavior to keep it that way.
For example, this is why Twitter gives better discoverability for threads, but will kill a tweet that has an off-platform link. Your social media profile is the one place where you can put a link to your landing page and direct users to it instead.
Social media hacks to optimize for SEO
There are a few simple things we can do to improve our social profiles' visibility and discoverability with the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Use All The Meta Data Available
Every social media network has a different set of variables it uses to identify and define your account. Do they offer an address? A blog url? An about blurb? Use them all unsparingly.
If there is anything you should know about search engines is that they love structured data. It's the difference between being able to speak a language and speaking it in the local dialect with the right accent.
Integrate SEO keywords into your social media content
A little research goes a long way. More often than not, it's as simple as taking advantage of instagram's autocomplete when running a search.
If you were running a Thai restaurant, you would know what the most common search keywords are. Go ahead and try it, you'd be amazed at how much information you can uncover by just trying different phrases.
Drive Traffic Back To Your Site
Just because some social networks like Twitter penalize you for sharing off-platform content doesn't mean that you should never share it! What you should know it is an uphill battle, which means you will need all the support you can get.
Your Team Are Your Brand Advocates
Encourage your team members to share your content, because the more people sharing and liking your content, the more likely the algorithm will show it to more people. The first few hours of a post are particularly important, so make sure your team is ready to go!
Publish Shareable Content
Not all content is liked the same way. A like is different from a retweet. A share is not the same as a comment. They all do different things on different platforms.
Retweets with comments are the elixir of Twitter engagement. A share on Instagram stories is a major endorsement on Instagram. Content that people 'like' is not necessarily the same as content that people will share.
Make your content shareable by using infographs, videos and memes.
4 Easy Social Media Tips to Boost Your SEO
Now let us look at some very simple ways to make SEO and social media work hand in hand for your business.
Make Your Content Easily Shareable
Try and make it as easy as possible to share your onsite content. You can opt for more variety or fewer, just remember to make it easy to find.
Giving your visitors more options to share your content may be nice, but do keep in mind that the fewer the clicks to get the job done the better. Keep it simple.
Use Social Listening Data For Your Content Engine
Word clouds may seem like an easy way to show activity without it really meaning anything, but there is a lot more to it than just a bunch of words in different sizes and colors.
This is a great area where social listening can shine, fueling your content engine and generating new ideas for your blog. We like to show word clouds because they are a great way to visualize things, but when you are getting your hands dirty it is probably a good idea to export it into a spreadsheet.
Create a Consistent Content Calendar
Ad-hoc posting is fine, if you don't care about the results. There are optimal posting times for each timezone/region, which makes the right time completely dependent on your scope and where your audience live.
If your business caters to an international audience, repetition is key. You know that when some of your audience are awake, others are asleep. Plan around those times and most importantly, be consistent.
Extend Lead Nurturing to Social Media and Link Builders
When we think of lead nurturing, we're often thinking of turning a prospect into a customer. However, if we expand this to cover your prospects, your vendors, your partners and allies, you can make the process scale.
Fostering relationships with your peers on social networks is a solid way to connect with link-builders in a gainful meaningful way.
Do You Need a Strategy for Social Media and SEO?
Regardless of what your primary marketing channel is, consider how SEO and social media feed off one another. It would go a long way to coordinate between those efforts for optimal effect.
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