Do you take the time to promote your content on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram? Do you hope that this will boost your search engine rankings?
There are experts out there who think trying to boost your search engine rankings this way is a waste of time. However, there is a link between social media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but it isn’t very clear unless you try to understand the relationship between the two. I’m going to have a look at what you need to do to get search ranking from your social presence…and so bring traffic to your website.
According to Google, social media is NOT a factor that directly affects your SEO ranking, but there is evidence that things like ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are somehow related to your ranking. However, social ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ are definitely a direct ranking factor for Bing…go figure!
How does social media affect SEO?
Let’s say you write a blog and write a sentence about your latest blog and post the URL link to it on your Facebook page. It gets lots of likes and shares. Social media is built for people to share content, so the more people that share it, the more visibility your post will have. If friends of friends see your post and then click on the link to your actual blog (the URL), this will take traffic to your website or blog site, so they are linking to your site and it’s that linking to your site that is a major factor in SEO ranking. I know…a bit confusing!
So how can you optimize your social media for SEO?
- First of all, do you have several social media sites…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest? Make sure that you have a consistent profile image so you are more recognisable. Complete all the profile or bio section, making sure it is totally relevant to your business, whilst being attractive enough to appeal to your audience. Include a link to your website and, if you have a newsletter sign up page/opt-in or a particular product campaign on the go, do a link to that too.
- You hear this all the time, but it is so important…be consistent with your posts and post regular updates. This will be different depending on what social media site you use, for example on Twitter you need to post several times a day, but you don’t need to do this with Facebook or LinkedIn. So post according to guidelines for each different site.
- Create great posts. Use eye-catching images/photos that attract attention, craft a good catchy headline and actually ASK for a share. This is good optimization and it has been proven that these techniques work.
- The question I’ve been asked a lot lately is around the use of hashtags. Can they help with SEO? Hashtags are keywords, so yes, they can help to categorise your content and help social media users find it. But, hashtag use is different on every social media site…they are used extensively on Instagram, for example, but not so much on Facebook, although it is becoming more popular.
- Take a good look at your website and ensure that your website content is optimized for social sharing. Here are a few tips to encourage visitors to share your content.
– Create quality content with a great headline
– Optimize content keywords
– Include eye-catching images/photos
– Make sure you have a call to action
– Add social media sharing buttons to all your content – if you make it easy for people to share your content, they are more likely to do it.
– Videos are huge at the moment and show up in search results, so introduce the odd video into your content.
- Don’t forget about all of the above – it’s not enough to do it all and then walk away and leave your sites to their own devices. You need to constantly be there to engage with people who comment on your content – answer any queries, comment on their comments and respond to any reviews you get. You can also connect with influencers related to your content – like and share their content, make comments on their pages. If you belong to groups relating to your niche, take part in conversations, give advice, answer questions – interact with people. Your responses and interaction help social media algorithms recognise that your content is active, which in turn, improves its reach. And KEEP POSTING – social media moves very quickly and it’s easy for posts to get lost among all the others.
Like everything else when running your small business, social media is a crucial part of getting your messages, services and products out to the masses. It takes time and effort to make it successful, but stick with it and it will work.
Now, please share this article if you have found it useful and take a look at my other blog posts to find more articles to help you market your small business.