We tend toassociate search engine optimization (SEO) with website content — such as blogs and landing pages — with the perfect number of keywords strategically placed. SEO has its fingers in a lot of pies, however, including social media. It’s through social media that you can build a business profile and attract customers looking for somewhere to eat dinner or someone to unclog the kitchen sink.
By giving social media the attention it deserves, you can develop a more complete SEO strategy that leverages the power of social selling and search to bring in new customers and reconnect with existing ones.
Social Media: Home Base for Market Research
When you’re optimizing your site, you need to know who your audience is before you can dial in your content. Who are you speaking to? What pain points do they need your help addressing? How much are they looking to spend? What do they like or not like about your competitors?
Study your social media followers and you’ll be able to understand who they are, what they need and what keywords you can use to get their attention. You can even use the demographics and audience targeting tools to deliver posts to a specific group, study their response and then leverage that information to better guide your broader SEO strategy.
Credibility and Relevancy Matter
Search engines love a high-traffic site. Content that has a constant flow of visitors is seen as being credible and relevant. There are also some quality assumptions attached. If people are reading, sharing and revisiting a blog or landing page, there must be a good reason for that behavior, right?
Search engines see social media profiles in the same light. If your business’s Facebook profile attracts lots of traffic, Google is going to take note and potentially push your site higher on the search engine results page (SERP). Increase the odds by posting a lot of click-worthy content and keeping up the flow of information, giving consumers a reason to return.
Think about how good it feels when you have a new customer sign up for your services or buy your product based on someone else’s recommendation. Backlinks (aka inbound links) operate on a similar premise, only the recommendation comes in the form of a website linking back to your brand. It’s saying, “I believe in Brand X so much, I’m willing to send you over to them right now.” The better reputation that other site has, the more weight their recommendation has.
Google doesn’t currently count backlinks on social media toward your SEO ranking, but those links still matter in terms of other SEO optimization factors, including increasing brand awareness, site traffic and overall visibility. Every time you share content on social media and your audience reshares those posts, you’re creating a web of backlinks that feeds coins into the SEO piggy bank.
It’s possible, too (though Google won’t directly admit it), that social signals such as likes and comments could help you rank higher. Turning random social media users into brand advocates can pay off in a multitude of ways.
Extending the Life of Your Content
You can only post a blog, case study or white paper once, but you can share a link to that content an infinite amount of times. By promoting evergreen content on social media, you’re breathing new life into pieces that can help boost visibility and rankings. It’s a smart way to make your content work even harder for you without paying for additional work or revisiting the same topics over and over.
Social media is known as a place built for discovery and communication, but it’s also a solid source of information and an essential marketing tool. Incorporate social media platforms into your SEO strategy and you can generate traffic, better understand your target audience and boost visibility, exponentially strengthening your brand.
Author Bio: Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, a digital marketing company. He helped startups, middle-market, and Fortune 500 companies improve organizational structure and grow through his expertise in process conception, task automation, technology, and internal project management.