Social Media & SEO – #CoupleGoals
WHAT IS SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION)?
First off, let’s delve into what SEO means and how it can help your business. Search Engine Optimisation is all about driving traffic to your website. It’s about making sure your site is performing at its very best, so that Google and other search engines can crawl your webpage. Search engines can then decide how authoritative the site is and reward (or punish) by ranking it higher (or lower, or not at all) in searches when the business relates to a user’s query.
Why is it important? Well, experts will tell you that SEO is the number one marketing strategy when it comes to gaining visitors and future customers to your website.
There are endless ways to optimise a web page. From page speed to linking, to meta descriptions and image alt text… the list goes on. But what about that all-powerful and consuming phenomenon called social media? While it’s debatable whether or not social media has a direct connection to SEO, it undoubtedly has some impact. Social signals define the relationship between search engines and social media.
What are social signals
We all know what social media is and many of us are spending two or three hours a day on various social media platforms; we are scrolling, liking, tagging, sharing and commenting more than ever. Social signals refer to your websites cumulative shares, likes and the overall way that search engines see your site.
Google is getting smarter every day, and its algorithms are frequently being updated to crawl and understand websites. The goal for Google is to provide users with the most relevant web pages to answer users queries. Google can also consider businesses social signals for authority and expertise.
Social signals work similarly to backlinks in that they bring a user from their social media platform to your website through shares and mentions of the site. While social signals are not officially part of Google’s algorithm, they do have a role to play.
WHERE DO SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA INTERSECT?
While the links to your site that are shared through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn may not be seen by Google as a ranking factor, these links help your brand get more exposure. It would be challenging for Google to use shares and likes as a ranking signal; it would be almost impossible for them to keep up. Additionally, it would be relatively easy to cheat the system.
Here are a few ways they do intersect. Let’s say you’re scrolling through a social media feed and a friend shares a post about Milk Bottle Projects, a digital marketing agency in Melbourne. You run a bar, so the post grabs your attention, so you go to your search engine and type in ‘Milk Bottle Projects.’ Voila, MBP now has a direct brand search which will help organically boost the sites ranking. This is similar to good old ‘word of mouth’ marketing. The same thing can work with sponsored content.
Another great way social media can be useful for rankings is when your site has excellent content (i.e. a super exciting blog post like the one you’re reading now), and it’s shared on social media. Other businesses or content writers are more likely to see it and then link back to it or cite it in a post that they make! And as we know, backlinks are great for SEO.
Social signals will also influence what is ‘trending’ in searches. The more a topic or keyword is being used on social media platforms (perhaps even a trending hashtag), the more users will be searching for those terms on search engines.
Social media marketing is a fantastic tool for building a brand identity. When used well, your business’ social media presence will increase your audience, making your brand more recognisable. This will mean that users are likely to click on your site in a search, and this will impact your click-through rates (CTR) which, when optimised is great for your SEO effectiveness.
So what can you do to make your social media work for your website? Create useful and valuable content for your site that is great for sharing on social media platforms.
Don’t be afraid to ask your readers to share your content (Go on, share this post and give us some love). Or, you can use social media to run an incentive for sharing your content. We’ve all seen them; they look like this: ‘tag your friend and like our page to win free stuff!’
Ensure brand consistency across all social media platforms and your site. This will make it more credible. Google will rank sites for expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E.A.T). A strong social media presence will strengthen your businesses E.A.T.
The bond between social media and SEO can be dependable and long-lasting as long as you keep working at it and making sure they are communicating. It’s essential to keep the content fresh and valuable for your audience.