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Everyone knows how important search engine optimization is to your online marketing strategy. It’s essentially how your business ranks on search engines like Google. Social media on the other hand is a marketing tool that is clearly showing it’s importance has a marketing tool. However what many don’t realize is the role that social media SEO plays in optimizing your ranking.

A few years ago pitching social media as an important part of a marketing strategy wasn’t the easiest thing. Even still today there are so many small businesses and freelancers that don’t recognize how much value it can add. They’ll spend big budgets and ample time building a website with strong SEO without even realizing that using social networks only helps that performance. So whether you’ve been one to hesitate on social media or are looking to boost your rankings in the search engines you definitively want to continue reading on.

What is Social Media SEO

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To back it up a little, let’s discuss traditional search engine optimization. Essentially this is an online marketing tactic that improves your website’s ranking in search engines like Google and Bing. These sites go along scanning websites on internet and indexes them based on their content. From there the list is ranked based on a variety of factors including website visits and back links.

Social media SEO a complimentary effort to your overall strategy. To keep thing simple, it’s how your social media activity impacts your organic traffic through search engine results. The way you approach social media into your overall strategy is different than tradition SEO marketing. But that doesn’t mean that social media doesn’t help. In fact it only makes your search engine optimization more impactful.

How Does Social Media Impact SEO

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While some may argue that social media doesn’t contribute to search engine results, many in the marketing and online content space disagree. Social media posts don’t directly help boost your SEO ranking, it’s the links you share that help your exposure. Social media helps drive your SEO performance in a few ways:

  • Increases posts lifespan
  • Wider content distribution
  • Improves online visibility & brand recognition
  • Encourages organic traffic
  • Boosts your local SEO

So although your content doesn’t directly contribute to your SEO, your audience sharing it does. When your content is widely shared across the internet it signifies that it’s relevant to your target market.

Social Media SEO Case Study

A case study by CognitiveSEO demonstrated exactly that. While they couldn’t conclude exactly how social media signals impact your search rankings, they were able to show correlation. After reviewing 23 million social media shares, they were able to find that social shares and other signals are potentially linked to how search engines rank your site. The exact details of how are truly unknown, all that is sure is a link. Could it be that more shares and engagement improve rankings? Or maybe it’s higher ranking sites naturally receive more attention?

The other thing to keep in mind is social media is a natural platform to encourage web traffic. If you’re creating quality content for your audience, naturally they will advocate for it. Sharing it on their socials, emailing it to friends. That organic web traffic only helps to prove your site’s credibility in the eyes of search rankings. But this only works if your readers know about the content. And that’s where social media plays it key role. You can publish a podcast or a blog post, but unless people are naturally going to check for updates these might go unnoticed. Using social media to share your content encourages your audience to not only view it but potentially amplify it further.

3 Tips for Maximizing Social Media SEO

1. Publishing High Quality Content

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SEO has evolved quite a bit thanks to technology. Long gone are the days of blog filled with keywords and useless information. Search engine algorithms have advanced to be able to detect content quality and relevance to the user. This enables companies like Google to only provide the most relevant content to their users based on their search terms. So instead of just trying to pump an article with keywords hoping for traffic, try putting in effort into developing information packed content.

The other thing you want to keep in mind is SEO works on quality vs quantity. So don’t rush to try and push out content every day. Instead you should focus on creating a content schedule that holds you consistent. Because of the sheer volume of websites search engines create somewhat of a schedule of their own based on website patterns. For example, if you choose to update products every week on Wednesday, or publish a blog weekly on Fridays sites like Google will recognize that. The algorithms will eventually learn to check your website based on that schedule for new content, and index it accordingly.

2. Improving Your Content’s Shareability

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One of the biggest perks using social media in marketing is the fact that the customer reach potential is infinite. The more people you reach the more opportunity there is for them to share your message, and so on. However if you’re website content is not optimized to be shared across social platforms you’ve already put yourself behind. While content published on social media platforms has built in share-enabling features. However your website on the other hand may not, unless built into your template of course. And even then it’s important to have them enabled and working.

An online retailer for example will almost always have sharing buttons for popular social networks associated with their products. It makes it easier for their customer to instantly share their favorite products or wish list items online. The same is often done for blog posts and news articles. Instead of forcing readers to copy the URL and Headline they automate that process for them all with the click of a social icon. Having these components on your website not only makes it easier for your audience to share, but also helps encourage it too!

3. Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles

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The best thing you can do for your social media SEO is to optimize your profile’s potential. Without taking the time to build out your profile properly you risk making it harder for your customers to find you. You also want to consider building consistency throughout your social channels and website to build brand awareness. This means trying to align things like your usernames, bio information and even overall content tones to your overall brand identity. Beyond that you also want to use areas like your bio to accurate describe who you are, and what you do. For example a sustainable and locally sourced restaurant in New York City might want to highlight these facts within their profile. Not only does this help to align them with their branding, but helps an audience searching for that find them. By attracting an audience that resonates with your branding you’re improving your chances of them engaging with you and sharing your content. And as we’ve learned, those are social signals that have the ability to contribute to your search engine ranking.