Often, social media and SEO conversations happen separately.
Social media is meant for building relationships and engaging with your audience, while SEO seems more scientific, with specific keyword analyses to attract as many eyes as possible.
However, these two facets of inbound marketing can work together to amplify the results of each other. In this blog, you’ll realize that compromise is in sight.
This guide will help any marketer integrate their efforts across both platforms. Below we’ll cover the following topics:
Social Media vs. SEO
Social media management relates to posting and optimizing your content on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. SEO strategy relates to making your website or content more searchable so that people looking up phrases or questions about products or topics related to your industry will find your site in the results.
Now you know the difference between social media and SEO. So, let's dive into social media SEO.
What is social media SEO?
Social media SEO allows you to optimize your social profiles so you can better attract potential customers through search. SEO best practices will vary across platforms.
However, the goal remains the same: finding the right audience for your brand and exposing them to products they could buy.
While social media management and SEO optimization tend to be two very different strategies, they can complement each other. Leveraging both can help you gain traffic from a variety of different sources.
Social media lets people discover new content or brands they might be interested in. Meanwhile, SEO allows you to gain traffic from people searching for questions or phrases related to your business.
Both search engines and social platforms aid in information discovery. People use Google to find an answer to a question.
People use social media to discover answers to questions they haven't yet thought of. For example, Instagram search is one of the app’s core features.
The difference between search engines and social media platforms is blurring.
How Social Media Impacts SEO
Although search engines do not officially use social signals as a ranking factor, there are still benefits to linking these two strategies.
This is because the search engines notice when you attract a lot of traffic to your site and deem your brand as credible, relevant, and high-quality.
With these criteria can come a higher search result. Therefore, if you post interesting, click-worthy content on social media, you just might see a boost in traffic.
Furthermore, if people see your posts and share your website's link, that could also boost your page authority and rankings.
To back this up, CognitiveSEO performed an analysis of 23 million social media shares and found that there is a relationship between social shares and SEO.
Many social signals inform Google of the integrity of your site. The image below highlights them.
If you've just focused purely on SEO and are ready to hone in on a complimenting social media strategy, check out our guide to social media marketing.
10 Social Media SEO Strategies
1. Social Sharing Buttons on Your Website
It may seem simple, but search engines like Google are starting to use social media sharing data to influence search rankings.
As a marketer, having social media sharing buttons on your blog and website is essential to encourage visitors to share content.
These buttons not only help to increase traffic from social media but also play an important role in ranking positions in search engines.
2. Integrated Keyword Strategy
As mentioned earlier, the line between search engines and social media platforms is blurring. Take the keyword strategy you use for your website and apply it to your social media engagement when appropriate.
This doesn't mean cramming tweets full of keywords. Instead, be aware of how you are wording social media messages. By incorporating keywords into social media content, you can increase the reach of your messages.
3. Include Links in Social Profiles
The links in social media messages, such as tweets and Facebook status updates, are traditionally no-follow links. This means they don't pass any SEO authority to the site they're linking to.
While this is starting to change, it is important to understand that the URL in the actual bio of a social media account is a follow link.
Make sure you are taking advantage of these extra opportunities to draw your audience to your site.
4. Incorporate Links Into Video and Presentation Content
Some of the most powerful social media platforms are those that facilitate content sharing, such as YouTube, LinkedIn, and SlideShare.
When sharing content on these types of apps, be sure to share links to related blog posts or other content on your website.
Yes, this will increase traffic to your website, but it will also help build new inbound links.
When someone writes a blog post about your content, it’s likely they will also include a link from the presentation simply because it is the "easy" thing to do.
5. Optimize Social Profiles
Think of social media profile pages as extensions of your website.
Just as you would optimize website pages for page titles and keywords, audit your social media profiles to ensure they mirror your website's search engine optimization strategy.
This can fall under your About Us, Services, Products, or the other editable sections to help search engines further understand your website’s relationship to those keywords.
- Build Links and Social Media Reach
Search engine optimization has long been about inbound links to your website. While inbound links are still significant, a secondary metric for marketers looking to increase search traffic should be social media reach.
In order to get more people to share your content on social media, you need to increase the number of fans or followers of your account.
By doing this through quality content creation and engagement, you will build not only social media reach but also inbound links.
However, don’t pay for fake followers or likes, as the platform will likely catch and penalize you.
7. Establish Relationships
Similar to sales, relationships are huge for driving inbound links and social media attention. Building relationships using social media can open opportunities for guest blog posts and other link-building opportunities.
You can also implement this by polling followers to drive engagement and responding to comments to show users there are real people behind the screen.
Further, these activities provide you with more opportunities to share additional links with your users.
8. Boost Your Content Creators’ Profiles
Search engines pay close attention to the creators of the content on a web page. In addition to the web, search engine crawlers pull information from social media platforms to better inform the credibility of the author.
Include author bios in your articles or blogs that are linked to their social media profiles and tag them with each new piece of content they produce.
- Increase Positive Mentions
As previously shown, having a robust social media presence can create a positive relationship with your audience.
A critical aspect of achieving this is to have online mentions that grow your brand's visibility and positive awareness.
For example, companies on Twitter reported a 19% boost in overall customer satisfaction. Google reports that positive online mentions can help determine whether your site is relevant in search queries.
Encourage positive mentions through engaging content and customized posts to the platform.
10. Extend Content Lifespan and Engagement
Social media sharing allows your content to have a longer lifespan. A few strategies to grow engagement are to use specific hashtags, tag influencers, and host giveaways to reward engagement.
Track this with likes, comments, and shares.
You can use analytical tools, both provided by the platform as well as third-party tools, to identify which topics and types of content resonate.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to recycle content with strong engagement and performance. You can extend the content’s life by recirculating it.
Whether social media has been a tactic in your SEO strategy or not, hopefully, you have gained a stronger understanding of how to link the two.
The content and product already exist. Now, it is up to you to implement these tips by working across teams and collaborating.
At the end of the day, each strategy will need to be tailored to your brand, so play around with the ten tips above to see which sticks.