Last spring we gave you an overview of what search engine optimization (SEO) is and why it’s important for your business. We also shared several posts about the importance of social media marketing and how it increases your company’s online presence. So that got us wondering—just how intertwined are SEO efforts and social media campaigns? Can SEO increase your social media reach, or does social media increase SEO? Well, the answer is yes to all the above, and today’s post shows you how and why.
SEO’s purpose is to help people find answers (a website) to their questions (regarding information/product). SEO is what makes your site attractive enough to a search engine’s algorithms that it’s picked up in the results, ideally as one of the top five. The top sites are those determined by the search engine to be the most useful, trustworthy, and informative regarding the subject.
Social media’s platform includes real conversations and interactions between brands and people. It puts your brand or company in front of an audience and, as long as you have compelling content, can expand online reach with engagement such as likes, retweets, and shares.
So how and where are these two entities interconnected? Think of it this way: you draw traffic by having an attractive website with useful, compelling content (SEO), but traffic also comes from your social media marketing (and search-engine marketing or paid ads). The more social media followers you have, the more “attractive” your site is to search engine crawlers. But the better optimized your site is, the more followers you are likely to have.
Social Media Is a Powerful SEO Tool
Google has said that social media doesn’t directly impact a brand’s search ranking (although marketers have argued that it does and that Google has flip-flopped on that point—but that’s an article for another day). Whether it does or not, it’s impossible to ignore the indirect impact. The more people who go to your site, click on your links, and share your content, the better your site ranks. And social media has been cited as the second best way to draw people to your site—second only to SEO itself. Craft your content well and your social media marketing efforts will drive web traffic to your site and encourage engagement, which helps your site’s ranking through the natural links people are using to get to your site. Additionally, when you use your social media platforms to build your brand, your followers are bound to share a link from your site because they know and trust you, your brand, and your business.
And let’s not forget the important component of creating relationships with others via social media. Be sure to share others’ (relevant) posts and tweets and comment on their links. The more meaningful relationships and connections you have, the greater the chance that those content creators and curators will share your links, which increases traffic to your site.
Using SEO to Increase Social Media Engagement
SEO is one of the most effective tools you can use to increase your social media following. The more likes, retweets, shares, etc., you get, the more credible your site and the higher your ranking in search engines. Although there are a host of “keys” to increasing your online reach through social media, we’ll hit a few of the top ones here.
Optimize Your Content
The content you place on your site will affect not only your SEO ranking but your social media reach.
We’ve given plenty of tips on how to create great content, so we won’t rehash that here, but we will give you these important tips to consider when creating content with SEO in mind:
- Create content that draws new users and retains current customers; it should be useful, informative, and showcase your unique skill set and authority in your industry.
- Don’t write a full paragraph on a Facebook post. Keep it short so users can quickly get to the meat of the content on your site. Not only will to-the-point social media posts draw users to your site, they have a better chance of being clicked on.
- Ask your audience to act: use words and phrases that encourage them to respond to your post: “check out,” “see more,” “retweet for a chance to win,” “like if you agree,” “follow to get our free services,” etc.
- Craft content worthy of sharing. When others share your links, you get points, so to speak, with the search engine algorithms.
- Remember that Google isn’t the only search engine—there are also search features inside the social media platforms people use to find content.
Adding keywords is a great way to increase the chances of your content being seen on not only search engines but in social media searches as well, putting your content in front of viable users.
Add keywords to:
- image captions
- social media profile bios
Beef Up Your Social Media Profiles
How does adding keywords to your profiles help SEO? Although your social media links (such as a link to a Facebook post) won’t show up in a search result, social media profiles will. So add those all-important keywords to all social platforms to increase the likelihood that they’ll come up as a top-five hit. What’s more, because social media channels feel much more personal than a company website, searchers get a sense of your brand and the personality of the company from your profile, which can also entice them to click on your site.
Grow Your Following
Another factor to consider is the size of your following. Search engines look at how many followers you have to determine if yours is a real or spam account. Google can also detect fake followers, so don’t (ever!) buy followers. Fake followers don’t help SEO anyway because only real followers click through and read and engage with your content.
We’ve shown that SEO and social media can work together to increase traffic to your site—traffic that could turn into leads and, hopefully, conversions. What tips or ideas do you have for making SEO and social media complementary? Please share in the comments below!
November 3, 2017
Thank you for your response and sharing your advice. Much appreciated!
November 3, 2017
This article was very informative. Building up a strong social media presence can help improve your SEO greatly. A great social media marketing campaign can really improve the SEO of a company's website. I have seen this first hand with experiences from Facebook and Twitter with Facebook being my biggest contributor. One thing that went against us was that our site was poorly designed and that hurt us. The relative importance of having a good looking website cannot be understated. It helps to increase the number of active followers you have as well. Great article with great points. This is a must read
November 3, 2017
Thank you so much for your response and feedback. I agree with you about having a good looking website--it's a must!