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6 Social Media Practices to Boost Your SEO

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, February 26, 2015 |

Boosting Social Media Efforts with SEO

Social media marketing and SEO are organic, inbound strategies that work together to build an appealing identity that naturally attracts visitors. Because social media relies on high-quality content and a visible, strong brand presence, your SEO efforts can doubly improve your social media reach. At the same time, your social media presence can greatly increase your search rankings. Regrettably, most search marketers leave out the details when discussing how social media can influence - and improve - your Google rankings. This leaves social media marketers wondering whether their strategies are actually effective.

To rectify this, Forbes has compiled a list of social media practices that are shown to effectively boost your SEO:

1. Growing your number of followers
While the number of followers and connections you have on your social media profiles influences your rankings, it’s more important to note that Google detects the quality of your followers, so you need to build your following organically. This may be a slow process, but an effective one so long as you’re consistent. Present your brand uniquely and consistently, and use the same voice to update your audience on a daily basis. Posting useful articles, tips, open inquiries, and general discussions encourages engagement with users. Conversations and direct customer engagements prompt current followers to return and help build your authority for new, potential followers.

2. Encouraging external inbound links
Social media encourages more external sites to link to your content, and the more diverse external links you have, the more your Google authority will grow. But first, you have to make sure you’re publishing high-quality, authoritative content to attract links. Make social media your broadcast channel, with your original and useful content serving as bait and your social channels as fishing poles. Your next goal is to put the bait in front of the right eyes. Do this by using hashtags to gain visibility in your initial rounds of syndication, and bringing your content into existing threads and discussions. Doing so not only improves your social reputation as an authoritative leader, it maximizes your potential external link sources, too.

3. Optimizing your posts for searches
This strategy relies upon pre-existing content, but it opens a secondary channel for search. Google tends to favor popular social media updates so your posts need to be optimized for the opportunity. Use a strong anchor for your post - a video, an infographic, or even a link to a full-detailed article. Then upon posting, frame your foundation with text that’s optimized for a specific type of search. You can also include seasonal keywords to maximize your timeliness and your chance of coming up in search results.

4. Influencing social sharing
To search engines like Google, any indication of a verifiable external source validating your brand or your content contributes to your domain authority. So the more people you get to share your Facebook post, the better. Likes, shares, favorites, replies, retweets - all of these are grounds for increased authority. There are a lot of ways to encourage social sharing. One is to offer a specific reward for people sharing your post. You can also conduct interactive surveys which invite people to “like” a post if they agree with you on an issue, or if they’re interested in seeing specific types of new content. We could go on and on, but the bottom line in encouraging social sharing is to appeal to it directly. The best part of this strategy is that it’s a self-perpetuating cycle; the more people share your content, the more new followers you’ll gain, and the more followers you have, the more shares you’ll get.

5. Locally-optimized posts
There's a perfect opportunity in social media to engage yourself in the local community, sending local-specific authority signals to major search engines. One of the easiest ways to do this is by posting updates whenever your company gets involved in a local event - post pictures and videos, inviting other local residents to comment. This strengthens your participation in the community and makes you more visible in local searches. Another way is by interacting with other local brands and establishments on social media. This requires some research; perform searches for local players, and try engaging with them on a regular basis.

6. Increasing brand awareness
Although this may seem more of a branding advantage than a specific SEO advantage, the SEO benefit is significant. Increasing your reputation on social media through increased engagement and high-quality content syndication leads to increased online brand presence. That increased brand presence is going to lead to more branded searches on Google, and the more branded searches your brand receives, the higher it is likely to rank for non-branded keywords. It all starts with having a strong brand presence on social media and ends with greater search visibility across the board. Give your audience a quality experience and everything else will follow.

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