Social media and SEO are thought of as separate parts of digital marketing.
After all, social media only has an indirect impact on your SERPs.
Part of the issue is how difficult it is for search engines to watch social media. First, there are billions of new posts every day that need to be crawled and indexed. Next, it’s difficult to establish any kind of authority for most posts.
Social media can still help your SEO, though. Is the reverse true? Let’s look at the surprising ways SEO can help with social media marketing.
1. Keywords Can Tell You What Your Audience Wants
Marketers often treat SEO and social media separately, although the two impact each other more than you might think.
Most often, people look at what social media can do to improve SEO. Although Google doesn’t put much weight on social shares, it does still take them into account. Bing and Yahoo! factor social media into their rankings a little more heavily.
What about SEO? How can it impact your social media marketing?
There’s one obvious way SEO impacts your social media marketing strategy—it can tell you what your audience wants.
Think about it. You’re conducting keyword research and crafting blog posts around long-tail search phrases. You’re doing that because that’s what your audience is searching for when they open up Google.
Those same people are likely on social media as well. They may not be typing those search phrases into Twitter and Facebook search bars. That doesn’t mean they’re not looking for answers.
The fact remains the same. People still want certain kinds of content.
You should be sharing blog posts and videos on social media. You’re building your content library around what your audience wants.
Don’t forget your audience is on social media, too. Using those same keywords and sharing relevant content can help them find you.
2. Social Content Is Moving to Search
Google and other search engines don’t put much weight on social media posts because they’re hard to index.
There are just so many posts for the search engine crawlers to weed through, categorize, and index.
There’s also the challenge of establishing the authority of any social media post. Profiles often mask who’s behind them. Social shares often don’t mean much in terms of authority, because random posts go viral all the time.
Nonetheless, Bing and Yahoo! do incorporate social signals into their rankings. Google has slowly been moving in this direction. It still gives social shares and other signals less weight than other factors.
Google has also been adding more social content to search results for the last few years. A search today is more likely to yield some social results.
LinkedIn posts are the most likely to end up in search results. In the past few years, Facebook and Twitter posts have been showing up with more regularity.
What does this mean for you?
It means you should incorporate SEO principles into your Facebook marketing and LinkedIn posts.
Using SEO tactics in your social posts, such as including keywords, works the same way as using them on your site. SEO makes it easier for search engines to discover your posts and to categorize your content.
3. Borrow SEO Principles to Compel Clicks
In the past, you could easily send your content up Google’s ranks by keyword stuffing.
Today, the search engine uses more than 200 factors to determine a page’s SERP rank.
Even if you are ranking high, you still need to give search users a reason to click on your link. A catchy title and a compelling meta description drive clicks.
These factors can also affect your rank. Search engines use the meta description to categorize the page and its content.
Meta descriptions may not make or break your social media marketing campaign. What if you took that eye-catching summary over to Twitter? Twitter only gives you 280 characters to sum up your content and compel people to click a link.
Your article title needs to command attention and drive clicks.
There’s clearly no need to reinvent the wheel here. You can use your SEO titles and meta descriptions to build social media marketing.
There’s another reason this tactic works.
It’s that SEO is designed to please search engines. In turn, search engines’ algorithms are driven by what their users want to see.
In short, the titles and summaries you create for SEO are always based on what your audience wants to see.
4. Technical SEO Matters for Your Social Visitors
The entire point of your Twitter marketing campaign probably isn’t to get more followers.
Although a large following has its merits, it’s not what’s driving your sales.
You need to get people off Twitter and onto your website or into your store if you want to increase your sales. Most of your social media marketing is likely aimed at getting people to your website or a checkout page.
That means your social media audience members are making their way to your website. Google and other search engines do pay attention to the statistics associated with these visits.
Google Analytics can help you assess what your social media visitors do once they make their way to your website.
How long do they spend on your site? Which pages do they look at?
The technical side of SEO is crucial here. Social media users are like search users. They’re more likely to be on mobile devices, so if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re not going to stick around.
The same is true if your page takes forever to load.
If your bounce rate for social media users is particularly high, it’s time to take a look at your technical SEO. Can you speed your website up or optimize it for mobile?
5. Personalization Is One of the Surprising Ways SEO Can Help with Social Media Marketing
Personalization is a huge trend in marketing right now.
Today, marketers have the help of AI and more audience data than ever. With it, they’re creating custom experiences for customers.
Social media users are also looking for more personalized experiences. They follow accounts they like and set filters to see the kinds of content they want to see.
We mentioned keyword research is one way of figuring out what your audience is looking for. There’s more you can do.
The same analytics you’re using to inform your SEO can help you with your audience research. You can use information about social visitors to determine where your audience is located. You may be able to learn other demographic details.
You can also use data to discover which pages get the highest dwell time and which ones don’t hold user interest. While your technical SEO plays a role here, you can also use the data to begin building audience profiles.
This, in turn, helps you create content specifically designed for each audience. Your Instagram followers may be interested in posts about your products as part of a skincare routine. Users arriving from Facebook are looking for great deals on your products.
Take this data and learn more about your audience. With it, you can craft better social media marketing campaigns for every platform.
6. SEO Builds Brand Authority
You might think getting a blue checkmark next to your name is equal to brand authority.
Today’s customers are more skeptical than ever. In fact, people trust brands on social media less than ever.
Your SEO efforts can help you in this arena as well. As we know, Google’s algorithm tries to assess brands on three major factors:
E-A-T factors help the search engine decide which content is best for its users.
Google’s goal is always to direct search users to the best content. E-A-T helps it decide what content that is for any given search query.
You can read more about Google E-A-T factors for SEO, and go through every tip carefully implementing content upgrades.
How does E-A-T play into your social media marketing?
In short, using the principles of E-A-T helps your SEO, which pushes you higher in Google’s search results. In turn, search users who later encounter your brand on social media will be more likely to pay attention.
Establishing your trustworthiness and expertise through SEO is one way to fight back against distrust. This is especially helpful on social media. Good SEO uses E-A-T to rank higher, and a high ranking tells your audience that Google trusts you.
Your social media can also play a role in establishing authority and trustworthiness. As mentioned, Google doesn’t directly use social signals to determine your ranking. It doesn’t completely ignore them either.
Social shares can show authority and expertise to some extent.
Having your social media profiles reflect your NAP also improves your trustworthiness in Google’s eyes. A consistent NAP may convince Google to add your social media to your MyBusiness profile. It may also pull your posts into search results for your brand.
7. Using SEO to Build Partnerships
You may want to use brand partnerships or influencer marketing in your social media marketing.
Using SEO can help you build these partnerships.
Chances are you’re already looking for opportunities to connect with authoritative figures in your niche. Connecting with them can increase your own authority.
Link-building is an important exercise. It can help you increase your ranking in the SERPs.
As part of your SEO link-building strategy, you’ll engage in activities like blogger outreach. You may also use link reclamation. There are other tactics to increase the number of authoritative sites linking to you.
Backlinks are important for SEO because they play into Google’s E-A-T formula. If other reputable sites are linking back to you, you must have some important insights. This proves expertise, authoritativeness, and even trustworthiness.
There are some less-than-accepted ways to go about link-building. Most white hat techniques focus on building relationships. You may ask an influential blogger for a guest post opportunity.
Find the Right Influencer Fit
You can leverage these same partnerships for your social media marketing.
If you’ve done a guest post for a popular social media user, why not have them do a “take-over” of your Instagram? You could also conduct an interview with them.
Your SEO link-building activities can serve as the starting point for these relationships. A guest blog or a podcast interview is great to promote across both your networks. It can turn into so much more for both you and the influencer.
If you’re already planning to use influencer marketing or brand partnerships, then look to your SEO link-building strategy.
You can use it to discover where you’ve already made connections. These people have already worked with your brand once, and they’re likely open to working with you again.
By leveraging the network you created with SEO, you don’t need to guess which influencers might be a good fit for you.
The people you’re working with already are likely good fits. Bad influencer partnerships become something of the past when you draw on your SEO relationships.
SEO and Social Media Marketing Go Hand in Hand
If you thought SEO and social media were separate channels, you can now see how they’re intertwined.
There are so many ways SEO can help with social media marketing. There are just as many ways that social media marketing helps with your SEO.
The two work together to drive your digital marketing strategy forward. Stop treating them separately. When you do, you’ll discover how much more successful you can be when you see them as two prongs of the same strategy.
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