Social + SEO: Better When They’re Working Together

March 25th, 2015 by Search Influence Alumni

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Modern search engine optimization has become inextricably linked with content marketing. Yet in many companies, social media strategies are developed separately from the SEO and content marketing plan. This can work—but you’ll realize optimal results by aligning social media with SEO for an overall strategy that boosts brand awareness, improves domain authority, and increases your rankings.

Here are some tips for social media strategies that can fuel your SEO and help you rank higher in all types of user searches.

Grow your Following

In the early days of social media, building a massive following was the number one goal for most marketers. Today, the emphasis has shifted from quantity to quality—but the number of followers you have is still an important factor for domain authority.

Of course, it’s equally important to develop an authentic audience. Google, in particular, can tell when most of your following is made of spam and bot accounts, so “buying” likes or follows doesn’t help—and in fact can harm your online reputation. Instead, grow your following naturally by posting interesting content on a regular basis. Engage your followers with interactive content and by responding to comments or starting discussions.

Share your Other Content

Posting links to your content—such as articles, blog posts, and downloads—along with brief commentary on social media, is a great way to repurpose your content and boost your SEO. Of course, sharing on social media will give you more eyes for your content, but the benefits to SEO go beyond that.

In addition to extra traffic to your website or blog, which is a peripheral SEO benefit, social media sharing encourages others to share your links. The more often your links are posted on other social media accounts and websites, the more domain authority you’ll build. This type of inbound link-building is much faster than traditional or manual methods.

Optimize Social Media for Search

It’s important to know that your social media posts can show up directly in search results—if they’re optimized. When you’re composing posts, be sure to apply basic SEO strategies such as including keywords, placing them strategically and naturally, and tagging image, video, and infographic posts with relevant keywords. Even if your posts don’t make it into search engine results, they’ll still increase your brand authority and contribute to a stronger online reputation.

Increase Social Shares with Viral Content

The more shares and retweets your posts have, the greater your domain authority—and the higher your search engine rankings. In order to get your content shared more often, you need to create content that people want to talk about.

Of course, every marketer wants to release the next viral sensation. There is no guaranteed strategy for making something go viral, but you can increase your chances of catching lightning in a bottle by creating content with a strong visual component (either a visual medium or a blog post that’s heavy on images, for example), and make sure it has the following characteristics:

• Informative
• Relevant
• Entertaining
• Practical
• Surprising
• Unique

Of these characteristics, the last one is the most important. Create content your audience has never seen before, and they’ll be eager to share it with friends.

Connect with Similar Companies

In the world of social media, your “competition” can be your friend—and that’s good for your SEO. Engaging with similar businesses, particularly local companies or those in similar industries, can help you grow your audience and your relevance, which in turn increases your search engine ranking.

Share content with other companies like yours and comment on their posts. Usually, they’ll return the favor by engaging with you, which will attract their audiences to your social profiles. Google will also start associating you with other brands when you engage with them, which improves your overall authority.

When it comes to online marketing, social media and SEO should go hand-in-hand. How does your social media strategy complement your SEO approach?