Online marketing is more competitive than ever. To stay ahead of the game, it's important to treat search engine optimization and social media marketing as opposite sides of the same coin.
The two strategies are becoming increasingly intertwined and dependent on one another, and today's most successful online marketers wholeheartedly embrace this development. It's a match made in online marketing heaven.
If you've been keeping these strategies separate, it's time to rethink things.
The Surprising Benefits of Dovetailing Social Media Marketing and SEO
The benefits of engaging in SEO and social media marketing simultaneously include:
- Easy Link Development Opportunities – Link building is a critical part of any effective SEO strategy. You can develop quality links quickly and easily by being active on today's most popular social media sites. By sharing your website and content with your followers, you plant seeds that could develop into highly beneficial links later.
- Improved Rankings with Social Signals – Many people believe that social signals, which include things such as likes, shares, +1s and views, are increasingly being used as factors in search engine algorithms. Without actively participating on social media, you can't hope to accrue them, and your ranking can reflect that (either now or in the future when they are factored in to a bigger degree).
- Unbeatable Content Marketing – The days of posting generic articles to random article directories and seeing your ranking skyrocket are rapidly fading. These days, effective content marketing is all about starting conversations, and social media makes that possible.
- Increased Odds of Viral Content – Creating content that goes viral is like hitting the jackpot. There's no surefire way to make it happen, but posting great content on social media sites gives you a fighting chance. You never know when well-optimized content will strike a nerve with the public and go viral, and it's unlikely to happen without being active on social media.
- Superior Authority – Internet users are savvier than ever. They are wary of generic content of the sort that's churned out by content mills and are reassured when it's posted by actual people. By developing a presence on social media, you'll be able to develop trust and authority.
Tips for Making the Most of SEO and Social Media
When used properly, social media can give your SEO efforts a major shot in the arm. Setting up a profile here and there isn't enough. Keep these tips in mind to squeeze as many benefits from your social media activities as possible:
- It's All About Conversation – Don't use social media to aggressively market your business. If you really want your efforts to pay off, you need to have conversations with people. Building relationships takes time, but the rewards can be considerable.
- Use Your Brand Name – While you shouldn't spam your posts with mentions of your brand name, you should use it liberally when the time is right. These posts are indexed by the search engines, so they can increase the ranking of your brand in the search engine results.
- Don't be Afraid of Review Sites – If you have the kind of business that may be reviewed on sites like Yelp, encourage customers to post reviews. Yelp has a thriving community, and online reviews function as social signals that can boost your online presence in a big way.
- Become Skilled in the Art of Linkbait – Linkbait is content that people are practically compelled to share. Infographics are a prime example, but linkbait can be just about any type of content. It's worth your time to brainstorm ideas for interesting linkbait and post it on your social media profiles.
- Embrace Google+ – While Google+ has been largely derided since its debut, it can lead to a positive impact on your SEO success. The Google Authorship (which incorporates Google +) feature is a prime example. When used properly, it allows your photo and name to appear next to content that you've created. In turn, your click-through rate is sure to go through the roof.
- Consistency is Key – Don't fall into the trap of only posting sporadically on social media sites. You need to post regularly to make the most of social media. It may take a little time to get into the swing of things, but it should become like second nature after you get into the groove.
- Take Advantage of Check-Ins – Sites like Foursquare and Facebook allow people to check in to let their followers know where they are. If this applies to your business, it's in your best interests to encourage people to do so. Every time someone checks into your business, a post will be shared with his or her network.
- Link to Your Social Media Profiles – It's important to show Google and other search engines that your site is associated with your social media profiles. Posting links to your profiles from your website is a great way to show this relationship.
- Tweet Prolifically – Twitter is a force to be reckoned with, and tweets are indexed with lightning speed. With that in mind, it's smart to tweet regularly. Don't spam your followers, but try to include links to your site and mentions of your brand when it makes sense to do so.
- Amass Followers – Social media is personal in nature, but it pays to amass as many followers as possible. Doing so will help you cast a wider net. The next time you create meaningful and optimized content back on your site, tell your followers about it, which will increase the odds of your content being shared with as many people as possible. This increases the chances of more people visiting it, talking about it with others, and possibly linking to it.
The Time to Start is Now
Social media isn't going anywhere, and SEO isn't either. The relationship between the two will only become closer. And it will only pay off to shift your online marketing strategy to reflect this growing relationship.