There is a misunderstanding about how social media and SEO work together, whilst we know that social media does affect the search rank, nobody seems to understand how.
Social visibility is only achieved by being active, engagement is key, but creating and posting great content that shares quickly is also only half the job done. One cannot simply schedule standardised posts to go out across all social networks.
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The SEO and social media discipline is not just about creating and posting great content, it's about promoting that content so that it achieves the results we are looking for. Consider the following when thinking about your social media and how to derive the best SEO value from it.
- Google does not directly factor in social signals, however, they do not ignore them either. It's the results we SEOs are looking for from social sharing, not the rank. The organic reach and engagement.
- Having "social presence" does not equate to rank increase. Great content, activity and engagement will lead to increased visibility and links, and its these links that lead to a higher rank over time.
- The amount of followers, connections and influencers that are connected to your social media platforms have a notable upward effect on your ranking, the SEO catch is this audience must be earned, not bought and that means you will need to build this following organically, which is ultimately a slow but very effective SEO process.
- SEOs are forever hunting the backlink, and social media provides the perfect platform for this. Google is looking for diversity in the links to your site, so social media encourages this, as long as your content is of course, useful, original, relevant to your audience both on your website and the social platform.
- Post optimisation is extremely important, think about the channels you are going to use, and know that you CAN rank for the same post with different search terms. This is where SEO comes in real handy. Although this comes with a caution, if your SEO knows nothing about content you have a problem Houston. Ideally you want your content person to know a whole lot about SEO.
- It is totally possible to increase your online rep and this can be significantly beneficial to SEO. Content is the answer, high quality syndicated content can increase brand presence by up to 89% simply on share value, sounds like a branding opportunity doesn't it? It could be, but it carries a heavy warning and this is the tricky part, you will need a SMO (social media optimisation) and SEO specialist to help you. This skill truly is an art.
Social media will never be the engine of survival for sales conversions, but SEO will, together these two have a specific synergy that unfortunately does equire investment if one is to use these two to drive sales and conversions.
Yes, Google and Twitter are in bed together, your latest tweets can be found in search results, Google bots go out and search for the very latest in that particular topic and if it should be your tweet, you shall rank first on a Google search. This too comes with a deep understanding that this instant rank can move to page 103 if other more relevant information can be found.
SEO and social media are both considered to be inbound marketing techniques, or pull marketing, pushing product to your audience all the time will push them away and straight to your competitors, so focus on pulling them in with great content and conversation, identify their passions and fulfill a need, then and only then will selling be easy.
Implement Google Knowledge Graph and Google My Business as soon as possible, this helps search engines, especially Google, rank your social media and web posts better than those who do not have this implemented.
As we move into 2016, it's important that businesses' and brands make allowances for social media, content marketing and SEO in their marketing budgets, and have these disciplines implemented in their business this year, as without these things working like a well-oiled machine, I fear those left behind in 2017 will stay behind.