How to Leverage Social Media for SEO
By now, you’ve probably heard that social media is important for SEO. Yet most advice around social and SEO seems rather vague. How, exactly, does social media impact SEO? What can you do about it? How can you use social media to improve your own SERPs?
This question can actually be broken down into two parts: Part one is getting your social media profiles, like your Twitter feed and your Facebook page, to rank. The second part is how to use the power of social media to get your primary site ranked higher.
Let’s explore both of these avenues.
How to Boost Your Social Media Profile SERPs
Imagine owning the top three spots for your primary search term: Your main site ranks, as well as your Twitter feed and your Facebook page. You’ll effectively destroy any other site(s) trying to rank for that position.
Of course, this is a dream scenario that rarely happens. However, getting your social media profiles to rank is certainly a worthwhile goal to shoot for. So how is it done?
The first and most important thing to do is to link to your social media profiles from your home page. This lets the search engines know that your social media profile is linked to you. This is actually perhaps the most important thing you could do to boost your social media profile rankings.
Next, build backlinks to your social media profiles. After all, they’re also webpages and need to be ranked just like any other page.
Get as many likes or follows as possible. The more likes or follows you have, the higher the perceived authority.
Use your product’s names and your brand’s names in your tweet. This will increase the relevance of the page to the keywords you want to rank for.
Finally, make sure you have your brand name and/or your keywords in your profile’s shortcode or URL. Having the keyword there will help with the rankings, help Google identify the “official” page and help users find your page.
If you follow all these steps, your social media page has a very strong chance of ranking.
Leverage the Power of Social Media to Rank Your Main Site
Social media can do a lot for your main site. Here’s how.
First, your primary focus should be to get likes and to get people to share your content. Google can read not only the number of likes you get, but the authority of the people liking you and even the sentiment of the people posting on your page.
While it’s possible to manipulate these factors, the best way to achieve strong rankings with social SEO in the long run is to really optimize your page properly. Get as many likes from real people as possible. Post high quality content and work to increase your reach and your virality stats.
Add a social media widget to your site. You can get WordPress plugins that make it very easy to add a whole social media toolbar to every post on your site. If you run a standard HTML site or use another CMS, you can simply string a few widgets together to create your own social media toolbar.
Make it easy for people who’re on your site to like your pages, tweet about your content or to like specific pieces of content. Remember that every time someone “likes” your page, it gets posted to their wall. Every time someone shares something you posted, you get exposed to a few hundred more people.
Publish tools that are designed to be shared. If you run a weight loss calculator for example, have a simple and easy to click link on the bottom that encourages people to share the calculator with other weight-conscious friends.
Tools are some of the most viral kinds of pages out there; yet many tool publishers simply forget to make their tools easy to share.
Social media is already an important factor in search. While it’s still a minority factor, many experts agree that it’s most likely going to gain in importance in the years to come. By starting on your social media SEO today, you’ll give yourself and your company a leg up over your competition in the coming years.