Broadly approached as a great standalone marketing strategy, social media marketing is integrated more and more with search engine optimization (SEO). If you are wondering why social media marketing has been so widely adopted by those in the SEO industry is because of the dramatic impact that social media has directly on search engine listings.
Three Ways Social Media Helps SEO
Search Engine Land has three ways Social Media helps SEO and they are:
1) Getting quality, relevant inbound links – The best thing about this is that the majority (if not all) of the links that come from a social media marketing campaign are natural links; they’re not reciprocated, bought, or solicited
2) Using social media websites for reputation management – Lots of social media sites, especially the more popular ones, rank very well within the search engines. This can be both a positive and negative thing when it comes to managing your reputation.
3) Ranking pages on social media websites – If you’re launching a brand new site and you know it’s going to be awhile before it ranks, you might want to consider uploading some videos to YouTube or creating a MySpace profile and building a few good links to it. I’m not saying it’s better to have these pages rank than your own site, but it’s definitely better than not having anything ranked.
Social Media and SEO from Mashable
From a marketing standpoint, you can look at the benefits of SEO and social media two different ways:
First, implementing a social media marketing program without optimizing content is leaving money on the table. Useful social content (blog, video, images, audio) that cannot be discovered via search is a lost opportunity to reach an audience that is looking.
For example, the popular blog about student loans and college financing from Wells Fargo identifies 29 keywords in its Keyword Meta Tag and doesn’t rank in Google’s first page for 26 of them. Those that do rank are variations of the blog’s name.
While there is a generous amount of cross linking within posts, a basic blog template optimization effort leveraging keywords and other minor adjustments could improve search traffic for this site substantially – without any compromise in content quality or user experience.
Social interactions and media sharing amongst social network participants create the kind of content that can improve a brand’s visibility within search results through profiles, videos, blog posts, or other media. A good example is Stormhoek wines’ first page Google rankings including blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
On the flip side, implementing SEO programs without leveraging the content distribution and linking benefits of social web participation makes link building for SEO an uphill battle. The nature of the social web encourages participation: sharing, voting, commenting & linking. Popular social content gets exposure, traffic and can result in a substantial number of relevant inbound links.
Bottom line? Content + Links = Search Engine Success!
Some Final Thoughts on Proper Use of Social Media on Your SEO Strategy
Remember, putting in various keywords in your social media profiles and other content won’t really help you reach your goals. To get the best results you should research the best practices of social media campaigns are being done today. Here are the things that other smart companies are doing these days in their Social Media and SEO activities:
- Identify the specific audience you are trying to reach
- Set specific goals and objectives that can be measured
- Plan a strategy for reaching those goals with the intended audience
- Decide on the mix of tactics that will support and execute the game plan
- Measure and identify what events and outcomes from your activites