When it comes to online marketing, social media is often viewed as a frivolous, unnecessary and luxurious tool that is time-consuming and ineffective when compared to SEO. You may be correct if you look at social media as a stand-alone form of online marketing, but if you change your mind-set and look at it as part of a whole SEO strategy you will begin to see how crucial being social can be to your business and its SERP.
Firstly, it’s important to recognise the latest Google update and how it has once again re-moulded the SEO landscape. Google are continuing in their efforts to make SEO more ‘ethical’ and it seems that means creating more unique content, sharing and engaging with other internet users and proving your business’ ‘authenticity’.
Social media activity is having a far more direct influence on Google rankings than in the past as information such as your follower count on Twitter or the number of ‘likes’ your business page has can determine which page of Google your website is placed. In fact, you may see a 7% rise in your search ranking if you bag yourself 50 Facebook ‘likes’ and 70 shares.
Keywords have always been important in SEO and that is still the case, but if your business has ignored using social media it is missing out on many precious opportunities. With social media pages usually having a very high page rank, placing keywords in the profile description will allow companies to boost website traffic and increase effectiveness of SEO at the same time. Google also look for passive and justified keywords in the tweets and other posts you share, so social media can help build the link between your business and key search terms.
Content marketing is the perfect fit for Google’s ethical SEO mission, but creating and posting articles on your site is just part of the optimization process. First and foremost, by keeping a watchful eye over relevant social communities and trending topics your business can see exactly what people are talking about, find out what the hot topics in your industry are and create tailored content that is interesting to your audience and easy to find by search engines.
Once the content has been published to your site, you should then promote it via you social media networks. Not only will this drive traffic to your website, but it will also reduce the time it takes Google to find your content from 2 hours to 2 seconds. You can even cut the indexation time of your content by 50% by simply posting a link in a tweet.
By promoting your content via social media you also give the audience a great opportunity to share what you have created which will deliver your website a fantastic SEO boost. Gaining social shares is a fantastic way of giving your business a temporary rankings increase as the current Google algorithm contains a freshness portion that is triggered by people sharing content.
In terms of social SEO, Google+ is a goldmine of opportunities that you would be foolish not to make the most of. Launched in 2011, Google+ has struggled to break into the mainstream social media market in the same way Twitter and Facebook did. However, as overlord of the search engine rankings Google are now enticing many people and businesses to their social network with increased SEO benefits such as a 15% rise in the rankings for businesses with a G+ business page. You can also embed a whole host of followed links into your profile which are becoming more and more sparsely available across the web.
So when you’re considering your SEO strategy it is important that you don’t totally disregard social media or see it as a separate entity. If running Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ accounts seems like too much of a drain on resources and a social media manager is not an option, try and work at least one social media account into your plans. Which social media platform you choose to utilise is for you to decide but if you are looking at being social purely for SEO you should look no further than Google+.