Believe it or not, social media marketing and SEO are closely related. They are interlinked and pretty much interdependent.
Even though the process through which search engines rate sites is complex and debatable, social media presence is clearly an effective factor.
As per observations, factors such as likes, views or comment may not influence your search engine ranking, but your overall social media presence definitely does. That being said, it’s evident that entrepreneurs do consider their social presence while fabricating their SEO strategy.
As per Social Media Examiner’s 2016 report, 59% of marketers who are investing 6 hours per week in social media marketing, saw improvements in their SERP.
Quick Sprout also carried out an extensive experiment-based research, and their findings are certainly promising.
<<< Quicksprout Infographic >>>>
As per their research, some surveyed websites recorded an improvement in their rankings after gaining popularity on social media. That being said, it doesn’t justify the level of influence social media has on SEO strategies.
Google’s introduction of new features like SearchWiki, Sidewiki, social search and a new version of its search engine indicates that Google is likely to incorporate more social data into their algorithm.
Being active and influential on social media may not be extremely effective as yet, but it seems like Google is moving towards a tighter integration with social media and it is high time to invest in it.
In 2010, Danny Sullivan interviewed Google and Bing’s representatives. He asked them a question about twitter signals. And here’s what they revealed.
“Yes, we do use [tweeted links and RTs] as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our news universal by marking how many people shared an article.”
“We do look at the social authority of a user. We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in regular search results.”
Even though you may not agree to leverage the whole mainstream social media, you can still use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus, to aid your SEO strategy.
Below are some techniques and strategies to improve your search ranking using social media.
Optimize Word Count
Illustrating in the simplest way possible, you need to reduce the quantity and enhance the quality of words that you use.
Neil Patel from Quicksprout calculated that lengthy paragraphs generate two to six times lower CTR than one sentence updates having up to 40 characters.
You can try to explain-more-with-less to marginally improve your search ranking as click-throughs lead users to the respective websites.
In most cases, you can easily identify an ‘ideal’ word count for your posts, which will give you the highest engagement rate.
Optimize your Text for Keyword Searches
Keywords is an old-school SEO technique. However, it can play a vital role while improving search rankings using social networks.
You need to identify your foundational keywords initially. You can use the keywords in your Bio, captions, posts, comments and replies. It will boost your discoverability, which will get your content to the right and related people. This will help you gain engaging followers, which will get you higher in the search ranking.
Using keywords in your content may also help you improve your search ranking as your posts may appear independently from your website.
You can also figure out the related keywords and create content around them.
Direct Traffic (and indexing)
Viral stories, posts, and articles on mainstream social networks can bring a significant amount of traffic, which will assist you with branding and brand awareness.
Some social media sites are valuable due to the SEO links they provide.
Search engine bots frequently wander around on social networks, to find new links and index new pages.
Social media sites do not really value indirect links, but publishers browse through social media sites to extract references. These valuable editorial links can help improve rankings.
External inbound links
External sites can link to your content through social media. You can gain more ‘importance’ and authority in Google’s sight, by increasing the number diverse external links. Of course, you need genuine, unique and influential content for this.
Bringing your content into existing discussions and threads will also portray your image as an authoritative leader, strengthening your reputation.
Encourage Social Sharing for your Content
Obviously, you need to produce outstanding content to make it go viral. Your content should be interesting and should give people a reason to share it. However, a majority of individuals are unlikely to share anything unless encouraged to do so. You can straightaway urge people to share your content with their social circles.
To offer convenience to them, you must include share buttons as people are highly unlikely to copy and paste any content.
Layer Call to Action
You need to leverage Calls to Action while promoting your content.
Call to action tells your visitors what is required of them. You can include CTAs like ‘comment below,’ ‘share,’ ‘sign-up’ etc.
However, you must not over-use CTAs as it’ll make you sound spammy.
Just saying, if Google would accept influence from social networking sites, where would it look to initially?
Google+, their ‘personal’ social network!
Even though Google plus isn’t well-known for social networking, it can influent your search rankings.
Boosting Brand Awareness
Even though increasing your brand awareness is likely to assist you with branding, its SEO advantage is considerable as well.
Greater brand awareness will lead to increased online brand presence, leading to more brand-related searches on Google.
It can ultimately lead to improved ranking for non-branded keywords.
As simple as it sounds, Grow! Even though we may not have interpreted the exact links and paths connecting search ranking and social media, they surely exist.
Considering where we’re heading to, search engines will use greater influence from social media to rank websites.
To be on the safer side, you must try to extend your social presence. You can try to boost your followers’ base by using some promotional tactics or you can also buy Instagram followers using services like Vibbi. It will help increase the engagement on your social media, leading to higher number of searches related to your brand/website. You can get a larger number of click-throughs and stuff, leading to improvement in search ranking.