Running a business is a juggling act, you always have a million things on your mind. It got even harder when businesses were expected to be present on every social media platform too.
Then, you have to add in the fact that Google can do whatever it pleases with your search rankings – and it rarely gives a reason. So, what’s an overwhelmed business owner to do when it comes to keeping up social media and their SEO benefits?
Well, thankfully, they can use some of the social media strategizing as an SEO plan. They’re separate entities, but yes, social media can give SEO a boost.
Learn more about the relationship below.
In the spring of 2018, this site did a study on the effects of social media on SEO. The study was complex and well thought out, which resulted in us getting some great data.
What we found, after comparing search volume during and after social media posts, was this. Social media can help with SEO – but it’s not a magic pill.
You have to post often on your social media page, but it needs to be high-quality content. If you’re posting just to post, and the quality is bad, you’re wasting your time and possibly hurting your ranking.
For brands that struck gold and struck the balance of social media helping SEO, they found higher search volumes in the first 48 hours after the posting. The key to success, this research shows, is that you have to create relevant, shareable content.
We’ll talk more about types of content later, but let’s sum up the study’s key findings.
For more interesting statistics, check them out here.
Anyone that has a website, just about. The key to running a successful social media platform is not to spread yourself too thin. Learn where your market is and put your effort there.
If you have a younger audience, you need to make sure you’re on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. But for audiences over thirty, you can skip Snapchat altogether.
Take a good look at your demographics and those of popular social media networks when you’re planning your platforms.
Before we get into the tips on how to use social media for SEO, let’s talk about why it matters. SEO is, if you didn’t know, the strategy for ranking in the top results on search engines.
Spots 1-4 are highly coveted because users are lazy and less likely to scroll down search results to find what they want. Google makes the rules about what makes one website rank higher than the other.
For a while, they were rewarding people with relevant and well-used keywords, and they still are. But now, Google is looking for high-quality content. You won’t see people with barely-thought out posts and websites in spaces 1-4.
You probably won’t even see them in spaces 5-10. Google’s algorithms are very smart and they’re programmed to punish sites that try to work around the system.
So now that you know all the SEO basics, we can talk about how to use your socials to boost your rankings. Like we talked about in the last point, you’re going to see a lot of language in the following tips about quality content.
That’s the name of the game in 2018 and it doesn’t look like it’ll change in 2019 coming up.
Here are a few ways social media can help SEO.
When you create content for your website, you’ll usually share it on social media. That opens up a new set of eyes and exposure for your brand.
Cold customers and non-buyers will see your content on socials, then maybe click through to your site. When people share this content from your socials, then you’re link building.
It also creates more incoming traffic to your website, which Google likes. The challenge then becomes how to get them to stay and not hike up your bounce rate once they’re done viewing the content.
That comes down to having a high-quality and accessible site that catches interest.
Building a brand is a very vague thing, but it’s worth the work. When people know your brand and what it stands for, they’re more likely to seek you out vs. your competitors.
So, if Google sees that your clients are choosing your site over someone else, they’ll take that into their ranking consideration.
But what does it mean to build a brand on social media? Well, it means a lot of things. Mostly, it consists of sharing content and interacting in a way the represents your company’s values.
For example, we know that Wendy’s markets itself as different-from-the-others. They’ve been making waves on social media with their negative tweets aimed at McDonald’s.
While insulting your competition isn’t the best plan, Wendy’s team manages to do it and stay on message. They use those tweets to point out how they’re better than their competition – which is on brand for them.
Since the tweets Wendy’s came out with had high shock value, they gained a lot of attention, which brought them tons of new Twitter followers.
Now their audience knows that they don’t mess around when it comes to frozen beef (for example).
Everytime someone posts the link to your company, your SEO ranking rises a little bit. We’re talking tiny intervals, but they can add up.
What you want is to share such good content, that other brands engage with it and link back to you. Those free backlinks are gold to Google.
They show the big G that your company is relevant in the market and that it has the support of other companies to back it up. Sadly, in that way, it’s much like a popularity contest, only judged by a bunch of robots.
The super-duper gold for content linking would be if a site, like Buzzfeed, made their own article about the content you posted. They did this with Wendy’s tweets, just to keep our examples consistent.
We’re going to say the buzzword again – quality content. When you share quality content, it attracts quality followers. Those are people that engage with and buy from your business, not those that just like and scroll past posts.
When Google sees people engaging on a deeper level with your company, they reward you. In their opinion (and in SEO in general) quality is better than quantity when it comes to your web and social traffic.
Let’s say that you put out an ad about your new location on Facebook. The ad says “click here to find out the details for our grand opening” or something like that.
That link goes to an opt-in page, where your customers give you their email. Now you have a willing person who just entered the mouth of your sales funnel.
You didn’t have to beg for their attention or their information – which Google also likes. There’s something human-like in SEO algorithms that can smell desperation thousands of miles away.
The same is true for helping people get to specific pages on your website. Or even to your business in person. And no, getting more in-person business doesn’t directly improve your SEO – but who couldn’t use more sales?
Make sure you take advantage of widgets on social media that make your clients lives easy. Call now and the Get Direction buttons on Facebook are a great start.
Let’s take a minute to review what we’ve learned. First, high-quality content and websites are everything. If you post something low-quality, it either won’t generate clicks or will lead to a higher bounce rate – both things that Google ranks down for.
Google likes it when clients search out your brand by name, which is why it’s important to have a well-established brand image. The better quality traffic and clicks you get – the better your SEO ranking will be in the long run.
The SEO benefits of a well-curated social media page won’t get you from the third page to the first. But they can help you get from #9 to #3 if you stay consistent.
Want someone to help you walk through this complicated process and stay consistent? Click here.