Social media seems like an ‘easy’ win for marketing. Put content on your website, share it with your audience, and watch the traffic roll in.
When Facebook and Twitter first became popular, that was definitely the case. In 2019, the sheer amount of shared content makes it less likely to happen.
Brands need to evolve and combine social media marketing with search engine optimization (SEO) for the best outcomes.
Social shares may not directly impact SEO on Google, although they do on Bing. That’s just one reason why it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs into the Google basket.
But there are links between social media and SEO that can boost your marketing efforts. Treat them as two parts of the same puzzle. It’s a good way to maximize your social presence and earn organic traffic.
Are you wondering how social shares and SEO work together? Read on to learn all about it.
Social Shares Improve Your Visibility
Sharing your content on social media gets it in front of more eyeballs. Even better, your audience will share it, thus putting it in front of their network.
This improves your chances that other people will link to your content.
The more people backlink to your content, the more inbound links your website gets. They’re more likely to be good quality inbound links. They came from your social audience so they’re not random.
Improving your visibility can lead to others approaching your brand. They may ask for quotes or interviews. Both of these opportunities are great in SEO terms. They earn you good quality backlinks from the websites on which you appear.
As a side tip, pick social media platforms that use ‘dofollow’ links. That means platforms like Reddit, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You’ll get the SEO juice of inbound links every time someone shares your content.
Combine Social and SEO for Content Creation
Many people rely on keyword research when they’re creating content. They look for popular topics, create content, and sit back to let their SEO do the heavy lifting.
Here, your keyword research demonstrates a proven appetite for particular topics.
Other brands collate questions they get across social media, emails, or chatbots. The answers to those questions form the basis of their content.
These brands also know there’s an appetite for those topics. Because people are actively asking the questions.
Is There a Way to Combine the Two?
Absolutely! Use social listening to create better content which then boosts your SEO efforts. This means checking social media to see what your target audience is talking about.
If they’re talking about it on social media, then they’ll be asking search engines about it.
But keyword research helps you create content your audience on social will click on. If they’re asking about it on Google, then they’ll be interested when they see it on Facebook.
In this case, you can’t have one without the other.
Get Better Engagement With Your Content
If you’re using SEO for traffic, improving your bounce rate is a big priority. Using social shares is a good way to do that.
When you share your content on social media, you’re sharing it with a warm audience. That’s because they’re already aware of you by following your channel.
So if they click through from your social share to your website, they’re more likely to engage with it. That means they may leave comments. Or they may just spend longer reading or watching it.
That means the user spends longer on your website after clicking through to the content. In turn, that lowers your bounce rate which boosts your SEO efforts.
Displaying your social share count at the top of the page is also a good way to show ‘social proof’. Showing visitors how many people have shared the post lets them know that it’s worth reading.
Social media isn’t just a place to build relationships with your target audience. It’s also a great place to build partnerships with other brands.
That might mean you share content by brands that complement your offer. Or you might share content by the kind of brands you’d like to work with.
This also applies to industry experts. By sharing their content with your audience, they’re more likely to share your content with theirs.
It also means that you can approach them to ask for quotes for your content. This makes the expert more likely to link to your website, boosting your inbound links.
These partnerships can also result in valuable collaborations. You may work together on a product, a service, or some other kind of offering.
Combining forces helps boost your SEO through association with theirs.
Working with Influencers
Using this approach is how influencer marketing works. You’re ‘borrowing’ the audience of a bigger, more influential brand or person.
If you’re going to work with influencers, choose ‘micro’ influencers. They have a smaller reach but it’s far more specialized. This gives you access to a defined, more engaged niche.
This won’t just boost your social shares. Being associated with a smaller, more targeted niche also improves your SEO.
That’s because you’ll be linked with much less competitive keywords, pushing you further up the search engine results.
Improve SEO in Almost Real-Time
There’s a final benefit that isn’t always mentioned in social media/SEO discussions. You can influence when search engines crawl and re-index your website.
Every time you publish or update a piece of content, share links to your social media channels. This gets your audience to click through as soon as possible.
Those clicks tell the search engine there’s new content, and it crawls your site for details.
This means your website gets re-indexed faster. Otherwise, you’re waiting for the search engines to find the new content themselves. It may not make a huge difference. But even being two or three spots higher in the results could be the break you need.
Create for Your Audience First
Now you know why social shares make such a difference to your SEO. Even if Google doesn’t count shares as part of its algorithm.
Using social media and SEO together is a fantastic way to extend your reach online. But create content for your audience first. All the social media use in the world can’t drive traffic to content no one wants.
Why not check out our other social media tips and tricks for more marketing ideas?