You’re using SEO, and it’s working for you. You’re using keywords, backlinks and other tools in the Search Engine Optimization toolbox and you’ve seen a steady increase in your SERP rankings. Your site is seen as useful and relevant by Google and other search engines. So what else can you do to make your website seem even more relevant and useful? Social Media Marketing is the answer.
Studies have shown that websites that also have active social media rank better on SERPs than web sites that don’t. Some people say that the link is direct, others say that the inherent trust on social recommendations that a genuine, organically grown and engaging social media presence provides boosts interest in the site. The need for consistent, curated and quality content is also a factor.
Whatever side of the argument you come down on, it’s still clear that good social media marketing has a positive effect on your business. You may already have links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media services like LinkedIn and Instagram on your website; you may not. This is a guide that will talk you through how to use links with social media to help your SEO and your business as a whole.
The SEO Power of Social Signals
Let’s start just. Let’s say that you open a Twitter account and link it to your page. You start to put out information or entertaining things that support your brand via tweets. You build up your followers and your brand awareness. That’s the benefit of Twitter, and the good thing is that it has value on its own. It can also help with SEO.
The algorithm that Google uses to rank its websites is a closely guarded secret. That being said, it’s obvious that keywords and backlinks make up a large part of the sweep it does across the entire Internet. That’s why SEO has focused on those things. With research, testing and experience it looks like things like tweets are also picked up in the search. What is very interesting, is that every tweet is seen on its website.
That means that every tweet that you put out can be as effective as a backlink. It’s a lot easier to put out 140 characters than it is to write a blog. That’s not all; Google doesn’t just sweep for things like tweets, it also does a sweep for social signals. That’s things like retweets, comments, shares and even favourites. Just as a well-written blog can grow the trust of your website if people comment on it – so can a well-written tweet.
Social Signals – the Backlink Multiplier
That’s not to say that blogs and backlinks aren’t relevant. In fact, working with social media – they are even more important. They are a piece of substantial content. They are something that can be promoted on Twitter and linked to. More people are likely to send out social signals if there is something worth sharing and talking about. In turn, that drives more attention to the website where the blog is written.
Another beautiful thing about social media is that you get more than one bite of the cherry. Yes, there is a crossover. People who are on Twitter may also be on Facebook and other social media outlets. However, some people do not cross over. Added to that, people respond differently depending on the social media they are using. Just because someone has passed by your business on Twitter doesn’t mean they will pass your message on Facebook. That’s why it’s of paramount importance to make sure your message is tailored for each platform.
Copy from platform to platform
This is a run through of a how to take one idea and to spin out over different social media outlets. In effect, this creates the equivalent of four backlinks (this is hard to quantify as Google takes a sample of all tweets, just as it takes a sample of all websites… SEO can be hard to quantify too).
Twitter is a good place to start. You are limited to 140 characters, and sometimes that will be reduced to about 100-120 if you’re adding in hashtags and links. That means you have around two sentences to get across your idea.
Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Then let the world notice you with MAXlook’s brand new hoodie styles! #fashion #swag bit.ly/not real
That’s 140 characters (for a fictional clothing brand). Even then, it might be a bit crowded – ideally, you want to aim for around 100 characters, this is 95:
Let the world notice you with MAXlook’s brand new hoodie styles! #fashion #swag bit.ly/not real
The next place you would want to put your message out would be on Instagram. It also uses hashtags, although it doesn’t allow for a click through in no paid posts (although you can write ‘link in profile’ and put your website link there). It also requires a photo, which should be something that is interesting or entertaining.
Let the world notice you with MAXlook’s brand new hoodie styles! #fashion #swag Link in profile:
From there, you can go to Facebook, which also has a place to share your photo. It also has space to share more information, although keeping your message short doesn’t hurt – although it is nice to differentiate your message a little bit between platforms. There is also the option to use video, 360 photos and a whole lot more here. The more interesting your content, the more likely it is to be shared.
Once you’ve updated your Facebook – you can then put most of the same content on Google+. Google+ is not as big as most of the other social media networks listed here, but it is Google’s own social media platform, and so Google takes notice of it when generating search rankings. As such, it’s less important for general social media marketing, but more important for SEO boosts. For SERPs, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are considered the big three.
LinkedIn is also a social media service that people might not consider, but be wary of placing the same copy you have adapted for other social media to that site, as it is a B2B based social media network. What LinkedIn is perfect for is the promotion of well written back-linked blogs, especially if they are business based. Other social media like Snapchat (and whatever comes next) can be used, but as they are predominantly mobile based, they have less of an impact on Google’s sweep.
Good content makes businesses content
The most important thing to remember here is to write good content. You can just put out regular posts – and you will still get an SEO benefit. If you put out good content that educates and entertains, then it will be shared by people. Each share, like, retweet,+1 or recognised social signal gives your website a better reputation. If you create content that people want to share, then those social signals increase. Writing a post that is shared 100 times is as good as writing 100 posts. In fact, it’s better – as your brand is spread out to a wider audience and recognition grows.
This post has mostly been focusing on things that you can do right now, and not have to pay money for. If you invest in social media marketing, these benefits can be increased dramatically. Boosting posts, finding lookalike audiences, retargeting and a whole host of tools open up to you. The core lesson of entertaining content that finds your audience where their attention already is remains. Be genuine, be entertaining and be consistent with social media and your SEO (and all other elements) of your business will improve.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results. Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency.