Many companies have social media and SEO strategies in place, but they often neglect to think about how these two elements of digital marketing relate to each other.
Although Google doesn’t directly consider social influence when determining your website’s search engine rankings, an active social media presence with an engaged following can have an indirect effect on your SEO. For example, social sharing can help to build inbound links to your site, which in turn build the authority of your domain and improve rankings.
Google also now indexes tweets in its search results, so your Twitter updates are able to rank, which can help to capture additional search traffic. For example, a Google search for ‘Donald Trump’ returns a variety of search results including news articles, a knowledge graph, organic results and his latest tweets:
As social media usage continues to grow and grow, I expect that it will only become more important to your business’ online presence. Smart Insights reports that active social media usage grew by 21% from January 2016 – January 2017, and active mobile social users grew by 35%:
With this in mind, here are my top tips for integrating SEO into your social media activity…
SEO Tips for your Social Media Posts
Drive traffic to your website
Just like any other form of online advertising, social media is a great way to drive relevant traffic to your website. Once users are on your site, you have a better opportunity to convert them into customers. So always remember to include a link to a relevant page on your website with your social media posts, if appropriate.
This post, for example, directs users to a page on the website where they can register to attend the event:
Your social media profiles and your website should work in partnership, promoting each other. Your social media posts can help you acquire more visitors to your website, simply by including a link with your posts.
Note: Use link tools such as bitly to create shorter, more user-friendly links to boost click-through rates. Bitly can also provide you with analytics on your links, so you can see exactly how users are interacting with them.
Encourage social sharing
Although it doesn’t directly effect your rankings, if you have an engaged social media following who interact with and share your updates regularly, it helps to demonstrate that you’re posting quality content and is a measure of your authenticity.
If you find your updates are receiving very few shares, there are some things you can do to help with this. Firstly, start with your employees, and ask them to share your posts. This will help to boost the reach of your updates, and they will be visible to each employee’s personal network.
Use @mentions or tag relevant people in your updates to further encourage engagement. Tagging accounts will send them a notification, making them aware of your post. Usually, this will result in a share, or at least a like. Think about people you already have relationships with – your customers and suppliers, as they will be very likely to engage with you.
Secondly, look at your updates – are you posting shareable content? Hubspot reports that tweets with images received 150% more retweets than those without, so make sure you’re using audio-visual media in your updates:
Use important keywords
As already mentioned, tweets are now indexed in Google’s search results. To capitalise on this, and capture additional search traffic, post updates on Twitter about recent news stories or “hot topics” relevant to your industry. Or if you’re attending an industry event, make sure you tweet about it. For example, these tweets were indexed for the search term ‘digital marketing’:
Each social platform also has its own search functions, so it’s important to ensure your company pages, as well as your employee profiles, are optimised with your important keywords, just as you would with your website. In your Twitter bio, for example, make sure your keywords are included, as they are in these accounts:
Get to know your audience
To boost engagement rates, make use of the analytics functions within each social network to ensure you’re posting content that your audience will respond to. For example, Facebook Insights provides you with a wealth of information on the audience of your company page:
In this tab you can discover the following information about your audience:
- Age range
- Which posts received the most engagement
- Which posts reached the most people
- How your page compares to similar pages
You can even find out when your audience are online, which will help you to know when to post for maximum reach and engagement:
I’d recommend looking at each social platform’s analytics at least once a month, and planning your future activity based on your most successful posts.
Try not to think of your website and your social media accounts as two separate things. Ideally, they should work in partnership and help to promote and support each other. When planning your social media updates, bear these tips in mind to ensure you’re maximising the SEO potential of your posts.
Need help with SEO, social media, or both? Get in touch!