So, a few years ago, when we were all just getting started with our online marketing efforts, there were at least two separate areas of interest to businesses: search engine optimization and social media marketing. Both were pretty new concepts for a lot of business owners, and marketers were trying to encourage them that both were important.
Both are still important.
But, both might not be two separate ideas anymore.
As a strategy, search engine optimization is the idea of doing what it takes to move your website to the top rankings on Google for relevant keywords regarding your website. For instance, if you are a baker in Boise, Idaho, you’re goal is going to be the #1 result on Google when someone in Idaho searches for “bakeries” or “baker” or “Boise baker.”
Social media marketing is a whole different ballgame. It is the idea that you are connecting with your consumers, clients, customers and potential customers through a series of touches. Maybe you’ll advertise something you offer, but more often than not you are going to be sharing information that is relevant to what they are looking for. Or, you might be engaging in conversation with them. Social media marketing does not have a cut and dry answer.
How Does Social Media Marketing Affect Google Rankings & SEO?
So, the bottom line is that Google doesn’t actually take social media directly into account in its ranking algorithm, but it does look at certain social signals to decide how to rank websites. Here’s what you need to know.
Just “having” a social media account is useless to Google. Anyone can set up a social media account, or 100 accounts. But, it’s what you do with these accounts that is important to Google and search engine optimization.
Because there are so many social media profiles in existence these days, Google does not rank your profile, but rather takes a look at the “social signals” such as:
- how many times your content is shares
- how useful or valuable the information that they are offering is
- how relevant the content is to the specific base of readers.
It’s important to remember that Google’s job is to provide users with the highest quality, most relevant information possible when they are searching specific keywords.
The Importance of Google+
Here’s another reminder: Google owns a social media platform and it’s called Google+. Once you’ve stopped giggling, let me remind you that the largest search engine owns a social media marketing platform. Regardless of the fact that hardly anyone uses it for personal use, and the engagement and interaction seems ridiculously low compared to other social media platforms, GOOGLE OWNS IT.
So, when taking social media marketing into consideration to drive your SEO efforts, you must utilize Google+ because Google does probably weigh posts on their own platform a little bit more than something like a Facebook or Twitter.
All of your Google+ posts get indexed on Google just like any other page. So, when you start using specific keywords and phrases in your posts, you may start to see those come up in search results as well.
Here are 4 tips on how you can start incorporating your social media marketing strategy into your search engine optimization strategy:
1. Boost your followers
While you want to increase your followers, always remember the golden rule that Quality > Quantity.
2. Earn inbound links
Share your links. Use hashtags to popularize the content, interact and engage with comments, and help yourself earn more inbound links.
3. Create “anchor” content
A post with simple text isn’t going to get shared much, unless you’re George Takei…or Donald Trump. So, creating “anchor” content like an image, video, infographic or link will boost the message, provide more value and more likely be shared virally.
4. Encourage sharing
If you build it, they won’t come…unless you ask them. So, asking for shares is not asking for a million dollars. It’s just simply asking your biggest supporters to share this very relevant content to their friends and family.
So, while Google is not directly taking into consideration the fact that you post to your Facebook page, it is looking at a number of other factors surrounding your social media accounts. And, in general, social media is relevant to your SEO strategy regardless of how you look at it. Content is the most important aspect of BOTH social media marketing and search engine optimization, so help yourself twice by concentrating on your quality content.