How to Use Social Media as an SEO Tool
Social Media and Search Engine Optimization or SEO used to be two completely separate entities which ran incongruently to one another. Nowadays the colors have bled together and the definition is not as clear as it once was. Due to changes in the algorithms calculated by search engines, social media now counts towards search relevancy.
Today social media gives search engine spiders signals which indicate that your company is being recognized on their networks by users.
What does this mean for your company? What this means is that every time someone talks about your company, shares one of your business webpages, comments on something you have written or refers to a piece of content from your website, your rankings increase on search engines. At a basic level, social media is helping to drive businesses up the search engine rankings.
But how and why does this work? More importantly, how do you make it work for you?
A New Type of Popularity
The interesting thing about social media that doesnâ€™t happen with search engines is that information travels by recommendation and popularity. Social media is about creating communities where people share information with others that they deem to be worthwhile.
By using social media as a forum to display and promote your services, this allows you to build a community around your business who are interested in what you have to offer. By building this popularity, you not only have more people mentioning your website, which leads to a higher ranking spot on search engines, you also have created a word of mouth type recommendation system where you have turned your brand into a household name.
With a larger following, more people are likely to see your website and sales are likely to increase.
When using social networking sites, you can find out what is popular in your industry field. Through researching trending topics and articles, you can select relevant conversational subjects and use these to carefully craft your own current and relevant content ideas.
As we all know, content on web pages needs to stay fresh and current, needs to constantly be changing with time and popular culture. Social media allows you to stay up to date with that popular culture. It allows you to understand consumer opinions and behavior and use that to generate content that will appeal to the masses.
By appealing to popular culture and trending content, you have the potential to utilize keyword relevancy to today, persuade readers to share your articles and have your website links spread across social networking sites â€“ all things that will eventually improve search engine rankings.
Organic Back Linking
Back links have become a crucial SEO technique used to increase the frequency of your websites links across the Internet. Due to bad SEO techniques known as Black Hat SEO, whereby links are created artificially and spammed online, search engine algorithms are careful about including back-linking into their calculations.
What this means is that although backlinking is an effective method of improving search engine rankings, it has to be employed organically. If it isnâ€™t, it doesnâ€™t count and can actually be detrimental to your SEO campaign.
With this in mind, social media is an excellent forum for creating those organic backlinks. It allows you to post worthwhile content including a link to your website, which can then be shared and the link is exponentially multiplied amongst those reading and promoting your content.
For example, say youâ€™re a video conferencing provider, you could write an article comparing video conferencing systems and stating why your system is better than other video conferencing providers. In doing this, you can include a link to your website for them to check out your tool. If you included a free thirty day trial for everyone who shared the link, youâ€™re organically spreading your article, creating back-links and driving your website up the search engine rankings, higher than other video conferencing providers.
Lastly, as we all know, SEO is a long term project. It does not happen overnight and it takes time for search engines to recognize changes in your website. Social media, however, does happen overnight.
The constant 24 hour buzz of social media means that changes you make to your website, extra information youâ€™re divulging and alterations to your products and services are presented instantly and keywords and tagging can be used to add it straight into already topical streams of conversation.
While SEO is a long term goal, social media can be looked at as a quick overnight fix that can be used as a bridge to keeping current and up to date throughout your long term projects.
Although a podcaster himself, James Martell is an SEO expert who understands the value of all types of media for business information and delivery. He advises many of his clients on the benefits of podcasting, online radio recording, web conferencing with video, and video advertising online, to further brand recognition. With his wealth of knowledge and expert contacts, James uses his podcast â€˜The Affiliate Buzzâ€™ to advise businesses on the best way to use these forums to build up an online following and secure brand awareness.