How Can Social Media Marketing Boost Your SEO Efforts?
How Can Social Media Marketing Boost Your SEO Efforts?
Most people know that social media allows businesses to form online relationships with customers, prospects, and other businesses. But that is just the start — social media marketing (SMM) can be used to help your business promote its brand, provide customer support, share product information, and much more.
One of the most effective ways to use social media is to integrate it with your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. Combining the two approaches can be very fruitful, driving traffic to your website, making your content marketing efforts more effective, and encouraging user engagement. In this article, I’ll explain how social media marketing works before detailing the ways that SMM can work in conjunction with SEO.
What is social media marketing?
“Social media” describes any website or application that allows users to create and share content and participate in social networking. This ranges from simple communication platforms like Twitter through to complex web applications like Facebook.
“Social media marketing” refers to techniques that use social media platforms to gain web traffic, increase brand awareness, or promote products. Social media marketing campaigns usually involve:
- Creating a presence on major social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Twitter
- Creating high value content and advertorials which can be shared on these platforms
- Interacting with other social media users in a variety of forms — providing customer support, running competitions, sharing popular memes and so on.
Social media is a highly effective tool as your marketing campaigns are often shared directly between users who are known to each other. This gives the campaign much more resonance. SMM is also useful for forming an immediate connection between a business and its customers, which is very useful for customer-driven enterprises.
How can social media marketing help your SEO?
Content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies available for businesses. It involves consistently publishing high-quality blog posts, white papers, infographics, images, and other forms of content. It can help your business by:
- Attracting incoming links to the high-quality content on you are promoting
- Increasing the visibility of your brand
- Establishing your business as an authority within the sector
- Creating brand loyalty and trust with prospects and customers
- Opening new lines of communication
- Triggering the reciprocity principle (readers feel thankful for your free content and feel the need to repay you)
- Generating more traffic to your website which creates additional leads
Social media can supercharge your content marketing efforts by providing you with many ways to promote the fantastic content that you are creating. You can share links to articles on Twitter and Facebook, post original content directly to LinkedIn, share infographics on Pinterest and so on.
Once you have shared your content, social media users who find it valuable will share it with their friends or re-post it on their social media feeds. This can result in a single article or video reaching many thousands of views via social media.
As your content continues to spread across social media, you will gain incoming links to your website from various social media websites — delivering a minor boost to SEO performance.
Social media can be used to build links
When a user performs a search in Google, the search engine returns sites ranked according to their relevancy and authority. Relevancy is determined by how thoroughly the page discusses the search term and topics relating to it. Authority is determined by how trustworthy a particular site is.
Google will use the number of incoming links from other websites to determine trustworthiness. Essentially, the more links a website has from other reputable websites, the more authority it will have and the higher it will rank. This is why link building is such an important strategy in the world of SEO.
Although the incoming links from social media websites are generally considered to be low quality, there are two other important ways that social media can help with link building:
- Building a wider audience – As your social media channels become more popular, your content will gain greater exposure. This can help you gain links organically from other influential websites as they see your content and decide to share it.
- Building relationships with brand fans, influencers, and partners
Social media makes it easy to form connections with other people online. This includes brand fans (people who love your business), influencers (prominent social media users, and partners (other brands to collaborate with). You can start a dialogue with these parties, helping them learn more about your content and business model. This dialogue may increase the number of links to your website.
Optimising content for searches
Search engines like Google tend to rank news stories near the top of their search engine results pages (SERPs) for some keywords. These stories are usually sourced from news websites and blogs. Google also looks favourably on large social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, ranking the latest posts from those platforms high in the SERPs.
You can take advantage of this fact by ensuring your content is posted across a variety of social media platforms. It can result in a prominent, but temporary, position in the SERPs. This serves two purposes — to get the search engine to notice your new content as soon as possible, and to help users find your new content.
Engaging with the locals
Ranking well in local search is extremely important for businesses that are located in a specific geographic location and need the attention of local consumers. Social media can help by providing a way to engage with the local community.
Business owners can discuss their business on local Facebook groups, provide support to local residents on Twitter, donate to local charities on social media, and so on. These acts will send local-specific authority signals to search engines, improving your website’s SEO.
Take advantage of social media searches
Many Internet users no longer turn to search engines when they want to find information on a business — they turn to Facebook or Twitter. Social media search engines have seen numerous improvements over the years and can be as useful as a traditional search engine.
When you create a profile on one of these platforms with all of the information about your business, you are listing your website on their “social media” search engine. The very act of creating a social media profile isa form of SEO. As you promote your social media profile, your position within Facebook or Twitter’s internal SERPs will improve — attracting more traffic.
Obtaining traffic from hashtags
A hashtag is a user-generated tag that can be placed on content created by social media users. It allows users to designate their content as being related to a certain topic. For example, a Tweet that is about U.S. politics might feature the hashtag #politics. Other users can then click on that hashtag and see other Tweets that are also about politics.
Hashtags allow users to group together Tweets from different users on Twitter. They can also be used as a form of metadata on content. For example, Instagram users can add a hashtag to their images to tell people what they are. So if someone posts a picture of a Pug, they could tag it with #pug. Other users could search for the hashtag #pug and see more pictures of pugs.
Not surprisingly, the concept of hashtags has spread to search engines with many users now adding hashtags to their queries. By participating in social media and using hashtags, you can ensure that your website and social media profiles will rank for any hashtags relating to your brand.
Ranking with social media profiles
If someone performs a search for your brand, search engines will usually list any social media profiles that you own. This can help you dominate branded search terms by having multiple listings on the first page. It also gives users the option of how they interact with you — some users may prefer to contact you via Facebook’s chat feature, while others will use the phone number on your website.
Social media improves brand awareness which helps SEO
As your business builds a larger presence on social media, its brand awareness improves. Participation in social media can also improve the reputationof your brand as you engage in positive ways with other users.
This can lead to consumers performing more brand-related searches in Google. They will search for your business name, the names of your products, or your content. This will eventually lead to an improvement for rankings for non-branded keywords in search engines like Google.
The power of social media
As you can see, social media can have a positive impact on your SEO and content marketing efforts. Social media provides the perfect platform for promoting content, building relationships, showcasing your brand, sharing ideas, providing support, fostering audiences, and much more. These activities can all result in the improved search engine optimisation for your website.
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