Looking to jumpstart your SEO campaigns? In this article, we take a look at why it pays to be good at social media marketing.
On the surface, SEO and social media are two different strategies. Yet they both share a common goal: to accelerate your growth. If your SEO efforts are going well, your exposure increases and you get closer to your goals. The same is true of your efforts on social media. In other words, the two strategies can interweave.
While almost 90% of businesses had started using social media as far back as 2014, not enough are aware of how social media marketing can actually help their SEO campaigns.
The dark days of when social media profiles struggled to rank on Google are now over. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn all show up on Google, they all have their own search engines, and they can all help you get backlinks. If you aren’t building an effective social media campaign, you’re losing out.
SEO is difficult, and you need all the help you can get to climb the rankings. Let’s take a look at how social media marketing helps SEO.
1. Social Media Profiles Show Up in Google
“Facebook and Twitter pages are treated like any other pages in our web index so if something occurs on Twitter or occurs on Facebook and we’re able to crawl it, then we can return that in our search results.”
As mentioned, your social profiles show up in search results. This might not mean much for your Twitter handle because to find you a user would have to search your specific handle. But if you start posting blog posts rich in targeted keywords to your social media accounts, your rankings could improve exponentially.
Think about it: LinkedIn currently has around 500,000,000 users. This means it’s a super authoritative site on Google. If you posted the exact same blog to your website and LinkedIn at the same time, you’d probably find that it ranks higher and faster on LinkedIn. This is especially true if you’ve got a new site that’s taking some time to rank, or which has been sandboxed by Google.
That’s because the likes of LinkedIn and Facebook have incredible prestige on Google, and posting directly to them can boost your SEO efforts.
Whenever you post an article to LinkedIn, remember to implement keywords just like you would if you were writing a regular article for your site.
Moreover, people trust sites like Facebook and LinkedIn because they know them. If your article on LinkedIn pops up at the top of Google, there is every chance a user is more likely to click on it rather than your page they’d never heard of.
2. Social Media Platforms Are Also Search Channels
Facebook is home to 2,000,000,000 users, all of whom use the platform to search for something.
Neil Patel has been aware of how social media marketing helps SEO since way back. In fact, as early as 2014 he claimed that social media is the new SEO. And just like Google, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn have their own search engines.
In fact, YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google.
There is an insane amount of content on LinkedIn, with users adding new stuff every day. As such, people are using LinkedIn to find helpful information on topics that are important to them.
Unless you start putting your content on these channels, you’re missing out on a chunk of your audience.
Facebook is a great way to put yourself in front of the right people because it lets users curate results so accurately. When creating a page, think of a name that is easy to find.
You shouldn’t discount posting your stuff to Twitter either, which lets users search for top news stories.
3. Your Followers Matter
Google pays attention when it comes to the number of followers a social media profile has and uses the number of followers to determine how credible and authoritative a profile is.
Basically, if a page has thousands of followers, Google ranks it higher than ones with just a handful.
However, improving the ranking of a page is not as simple as buying lots of followers. Google is able to asses the quality of followers and will mark your page as spam if you’ve bought a large percentage of yours. Instead, you need to focus on growing your army of followers organically.
It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s also as simple as consistently putting out good content. The better your content is, the more engagement it will receive, and the likelier it is that it will grow, expand and shoot up the rankings.
4. Social Media Boosts Your Backlink Campaigns
When we create a piece of content and upload it to social media, what do we want people to do with it? We’d love it if they shared the content. Why? Exposure to our page, which in turn encourages more Likes.
But if we were to put our SEO hats on, our goal is to get backlinks.
Backlinks are an important off-page SEO strategy. The more incoming links there are to your page, the better you will rank. This is because credible links tell Google that you’re a trustworthy site that is part of the “Google family.”
Because backlinks are off-page SEO, it means that you’re always relying on others to link out to you. You can link from one or two of your own sources, but everything else has to come from elsewhere. As such, it’s not always easy to secure those credible links from solid sources.
Social media marketing is an excellent way to make securing external inbound links easier. Your social media platforms are essentially your distribution channels that you use to get your content seen. If a piece of content offers enough value and the timing is right, you could even go viral.
Such exposure increases the likelihood that you’ll get lots of backlinks.
To get that kind of viral exposure, you need to be good at promoting your content so that it’s seen by the right people. On social media, appropriate hashtags are essential. Pick the right Instagram hashtags, which in turn will boost your visibility. You can encourage engagement by giving away something for free — but only if people comment, like or share your page.
Always remember that people are far likelier to share awesome, memorable content than run of the mill stuff. Crafting strong content that adds value to people does take time and effort, but the things it can do for your SEO campaigns are worth it.
And where possible, always remember to measure your SEO campaigns and backlinks. You can do this by using an SEO tool like Nightwatch that helps you track your performance.
5. Social Shares Improve Your Ranking
In the above point, I mentioned how we create content with the aim of it being shared. However, a trick a number of online businesses are missing is that the more shares you have, the higher you rank.
In fact, all engagement is good for boosting your authority on search engines. This includes replying, retweeting, and so on.
The takeaway? Every now and then, make it known to your followers that you want them to share your posts. Most brands do this via a competition or a free giveaway. For example, you could tell your followers that anyone who Likes and shares a particular post will be in with a chance of winning X.
The free giveaway is even easier. Simply make a post telling your followers that anyone who shares your page gets a gift.
In summary, since Google took the shackles off social signals a few years back, now is the time to strengthen your relationship between SEO and social media marketing.
Change the way you view social media; it’s no longer simply a place to meet and greet fans, but a strategic battleground in the war on climbing up the rankings.
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