If you are new to the search engine optimisation (SEO) game, you are probably feeling overwhelmed. All of your competitors are after the same goal: claim the number one spot on Google, Yahoo or Bing’s search results page (SERP). It is an ongoing battle, and while you may have the third spot one-day, you might be on the second page the next.
What many businesses do not know is that their social media accounts could be the difference between the first and second pages of search results. Your website and social media accounts should be working together to create brand awareness, establish your company as an industry leader and bring your website higher in search results.
So how can social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn help you boost your SEO? Here are five ways social media works in your favour:
5. Content establishes and engages
With the creation of Google Panda in 2011, Google took a stand against spam websites and other low-quality sites. The overall goal was to help bloggers and other lesser-known content creators gain traction by giving them a boost for posting quality, long-form posts while pushing down sites that copied and pasted content.
You too can take advantage of this if you keep a blog and update it regularly. Google rewards sites that are always updating by pushing them higher in search results. Content engages your audience and allows you to interact with them while showing that you contribute to your industry’s community.
4. Multiple accounts = multiple shares
Posting on a blog or creating an Instagram photo will only go so far if your website, blog and social media accounts are not optimised and linked together. Remember, not all of your followers on one social media site are linked to your other social media accounts on other sites. If you post something on Instagram and never share it on Facebook or Twitter, there are a lot of followers who might be missing out.
Your blog should have social media plug-ins installed so visitors can easily click a button and share your content on their own pages. You should also be promoting your content across your social media accounts. As stated, your blog readers might not be your Facebook fans so make sure all your bases are covered.
When posting, it is always a good idea to include a keyword or two along with a hashtag to make your content easy to search. After posting a link, always invite your followers to share it. They will extend your outreach to their friends and followers. The more people who share, the better the SEO boost your receive.
3. Keywords in profiles search higher
Some businesses like to believe that their name speaks for itself, but they are making a big mistake. Social media profiles are a great tool for optimising certain keywords and creating a streamlined brand across multiple platforms. While your About or Info section should not be keyword-packed, there should be a few good keywords tucked in. This creates a streamlined feel across multiple platforms, and it betters your chances of ranking higher in search results.
2. Make local searches easier
When a person searches for a service in his or her area, the first search he or she usually tries is “service town.” This is known as “on-the-go searching,” and if you have a presence on sites like Google+, Yelp or Foursquare, people are more likely to pull up your business when searching for a product or service.
Having a Google+ business page and a Google+ Local listing are essential because they are already part of the Google family. Therefore, Google will rank these sites higher in search results. Fill out your profiles, provide links to your website and list your address and hours. This takes all the work out of finding and contacting you, so all the searcher has to do is call or visit the site.
1. Allow yourself more hits
The truth is that social media sites are basically free websites for your business. Well-optimised pages will be closer to the top of search results and allow for more chances of getting at least one of your sites – your business site, Facebook page, Twitter account – to the top of Google search results.
All of these sites should have your business website posted somewhere, and you should be using social media to build a link profile. By linking back to your own content, you create more backlinks, and when people share your content, they create even more backlinks. Your content is being shared and your link profile is growing.
SEO is a never-ending process and a difficult one if you do not have the right tools. If you are not using social media, your choices for building your website’s SEO are limited.
Social media costs nothing, but can make all the difference.