The relationship between social media and SEO is a complex one.
In the past, a lot of confusion has been stirred by Google officials. The search engine behemoth may have declared social media isn’t a direct ranking factor, but there’s a ton of proof social signals do affect ranking.
So, what gives?
Well, Google doesn’t speak for everyone. Microsoft sites, which account for 24% of US search volume, recognize social signals as a ranking factor. Moreover, even in the case of an undisputed market leader, the correlation between social signals and ranking is high.
The tricky thing is this correlation doesn’t equal causation— the effects are more indirect in nature. Nevertheless, the point remains that social media is a powerful SEO tool. It’s where more than 3 billion people dwell and remain quite receptive to brand offerings and messages.
Here are actionable tips on how to optimize social media presence and get ahead of the game.
Laying out the Groundwork
Despite ambiguous ties, social media and SEO are a match made in digital heaven.
First off, social media activity amplifies one crucial ranking factor: backlinks. As you may know, they are one of the telltale signs of brand authority and relevance. Both of these factors are vital components of the SEO algorithm equation.
Therefore, the logic is simple. The more people interact with your content, the more chances are someone will also link to it. And the more links you have, the more perceived authority you attain.
Apart from links, social mentions, comments, and audience engagement also send signals (albeit less-than-reliable) to search engines. Thus, you have to use your profile as a staging ground for amassing these ranking points.
For instance, promoting content on social media propels you to establish a better position for targeted keywords. Even more so if you successfully engage in ongoing social listening and monitoring as well.
Here, the main challenge comes in the form of immense competition. Viral posts spread like wildfire, but not everyone can do this. You need to find reliable tactics to pierce through the noise and gain more visibility.
The first thing to do is to optimize your profile and showcase accurate and up-to-date information. Your bio should arouse interest and inform at the same time. Additionally, having a link to a relevant business page is an absolute must.
Moving on, take your time to select a proper profile photo and other visuals, such as cover photos. Make sure these elements are consistent across different networks. This improves brand recognition and wards off confusion.
Master the Art of Posting
The next key step is to optimize your posts.
Start by carrying out market research and figuring out what your audience wants to see. Pick topics that are bound to resonate and engage. You can get promotional, but you can’t overlook people’s real wants and needs.
For good measure, evaluate the performance of earlier posts by searching for content keywords. Hashtags effectively double as keywords on some platforms, so don’t overlook them either. Pinpoint your most shared, evergreen content and investigate why it worked so well.
Perhaps it was because you covered a topic of local relevance or involved a niche influencer. There are many moving parts that play a role, so be diligent in your analysis.
Once that is sorted out, step up your content production with the focus on quality and “shareability”. For example, come up with attention-arresting headlines. Pay close attention to SEO-friendly structure: break down big blocks of text into paragraphs.
Striking imagery is another staple element, which helps you really stand out. It attracts more social signals and enables people to retain information easier. Videos are a huge magnet for shares, retweets, and likes as well, so learn how to optimize them.
Don’t hesitate to directly ask followers to share and interact with content. Be responsive to their comments and join in on the conversations. It’s a good idea to pay special attention to influencers and build solid relationships with them.
This is a great trick for earning links and “borrowing” exposure. Strategic partnerships with non-competitive businesses provide similar benefits.
Back on the Site
There are a few things you can fine-tune on your website.
Components that carry the most SEO weight are:
- Calls-to-action (CTA)
- Images & video
- Social sharing buttons
We already mentioned keywords, images, and headlines (check out this headline generator). As for CTAs, they steer visitors where you want them to go. Invest a lot of effort in crafting them.
Furthermore, social sharing buttons should be present in all your content pieces. When sharing comes effortlessly, more people are going to actually do it.
The basic rule for copy and other web content is to avoid coming across as too “salesy”. Keep them centered on the problems and pain points people face in their day-to-day life. Think in terms of video tutorials, how-to-guides, best-of compilations, etc.
High-quality content is your best shot at organic prominence. It allows you to earn links, mentions, and recognition without direct pitching. Feel free to start blogging in order to make the most of this tactic.
Finally, remember that updating content regularly is of paramount importance. It shows your profile/brand is active and keeps the audience hooked. Of course, the optimal frequency depends on the type of networks.
While Twitter audience expects multiple posts per day, LinkedIn users may frown upon this kind of bombardment. So, don’t go overboard trying to extend your reach.
If you lack fresh material, you can re-share and revamp old posts. Playing it smart lets you will drive a steady stream of traffic without breaking the bank.
Optimize Social Media to Supercharge Your Ranking
Brimming with activity and offering unparalleled reach, social media is a booming SEO frontier.
However, it’s not “set in and then forget it” type of strategy. The audience expects you to regularly crank out valuable and relevant posts. You have to commit to ongoing learning and measuring.
Understand what makes content share-worthy. Based on acquitted insights, optimize social media profiles and posts for maximum visibility.
Seize link opportunities wherever you can find them. Build partnerships and mutually-beneficial relationships. Be a great storyteller to earn people’s loyalty and attention.
Find out what works and tweak your strategy on the go. That‘s the way to tap into new audiences and attract more eyeballs to your posts.