There are a lot of areas and disciplines that share overlapping interests with social media. That is right, social media is not the only online marketing channel out there.
One of the stronger ones is SEO.
Social media offers up a wealth of opportunity and benefit for your site(s) to perform at a much higher level in search engines. Between actual search, search integration and link building there are a variety of ways you can add tangible value to your SEO efforts through social media.
1) Social Network Search
As more and more time is spent on social sites, their native search features will become increasingly important. Be conscientious about using your keywords in your tweets and updates for example. Consider finding ways to relevantly and usefully work current events and possibly even trending topics into your tweets as these are likely searched terms. Don’t be spammy about this – be relevant and useful.
2) Increase Exposure And Attract Links
I’ve heard some call these types of links, secondary links. Your content is discovered on a social site by someone who then links to it. You’ve gained exposure to your content by being present or having a story on a social net which ultimately resulted in links being built out to you. If you’re creating content specifically to gain exposure and build links (re: linkbait) you can help to target the anchor text by what content and language you use. Be deliberate in your planning of these campaigns.
Many social profiles actually rank quite well in the SERP’s. Now, having a profile set up is not enough. You have to actually be active on these profiles for them to be seen as important. Also, the more active you are there the more links they are likely to get increasing their importance as well. Building links to these profiles can be a good idea helping to boost their search relevance (potentially allowing you to take up more room in the SERP for your brand term). Paying attention to what fields are used for what is critical here. For example the “Name” field on Twitter can hold more value than many give it credit in terms of search. Use your own properties to start with then cross link your social profiles as a way to get a few easy ones.
5) Direct Link Building
Very few social networks offer do follow links out, but they are out there. However, even no followed links can add value. If you have an active presence and profile this benefit can take the shape of traffic and discover-ability in addition to the direct benefits of the link. You can waste a lot of time scouring the web for social nets that offer do follow links – and really you’re creating more work for yourself if you do this because you’ve now set up a presence. The only thing worse than no presence is one that’s been abandoned. So I’m not saying don’t do this, but I am saying use this method judiciously.
6) Connections and Relationships
One of THE BEST methods of link building and improving your SEO using social media is by far the relationships you can build and foster on the various social nets out there. It may sound cliché, but that’s only because it’s true. Building relationships will increase the likelihood that people will pay attention to your content, and consequently link to you. It also increases the success you’re likely to have when you reach out to ask for links.
There you have it. Six awesome opportunities for you to leverage your presence in social media to directly impact your search engine optimization efforts. Do you have any ideas you’d like to share, or notice some tricks that I’ve not included? Please share them in the comments!
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