Does SEO Matter for Social Media?
Like any business owner, you want your business to have great online exposure. But your website isn’t ranking high in search results.
You’ve tried traditional SEO methods like maintaining a blog, creating valuable content for other websites to link to (creating those precious backlinks), and guest posting on other blogs to gain exposure. But nothing’s working.
I have a question for you.
Is social media part of your SEO strategy?
Social media is an important ally of SEO. Taking your social media presence seriously will boost your business’s exposure, especially when your website does not have a high search engine ranking.
How exactly does this work? While your business website might not be ranking high in search results, your social media accounts shouldn’t be forgotten. Your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts do show up in searches, and they can help expose your business to new people.
Here are four things you should remember.
1. Social media profiles show up in search results
This is important, especially if your website doesn’t have a high search ranking. In a lot of cases, your social media profiles will rank higher than your business website, especially if your website is brand new.
That means you shouldn’t forget about your social medias.
It’s very common for people to end up on a business’s social profile before their website. That includes your business, too.
Here’s a practical example.
I work for a small business called JesterLine, which is West Virginia’s first eSports and Virtual Reality gaming center. Since West Virginia hasn’t seen anything like JesterLine before, it’s essential that they show up in Google’s rankings.
Here’s the kicker. JesterLine’s website isn’t up yet.
But guess what? If you search “JesterLine” in Google or Bing, their Twitter profile is in the top 5 results. That’s important exposure they wouldn’t be getting without social media.
When your profiles show up in search results, that’s more exposure for your business, even if it’s not the exposure you’d prefer. Make sure your accounts are active and sharing great stuff, because that can be the first (or only) online exposure someone has to your business, especially if your website doesn’t rank well.
2. Google monitors social media account activity
This doesn’t only go for Google. Other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Ask watch for this, too.
If the content you create gets a lot of activity on social media (likes, shares, retweets, comments, etc.), these search engines take note. They might even begin viewing your business as an entity.
VultLab’s CEO, Kelly Ann Collins, said this.
“The number of social mentions and engagements for a content piece or a brand is a search ranking factor. If a brand unrecognized by Google starts getting a lot of mentions on social sites, it could cause Google to view them as an ‘entity’ – something that deserves attention.”
Pretty cool, right? Content that gets shared a lot grabs search engines’ attention, but that’s not the only benefit of shareable content.
3. A lot of interaction builds backlinks
Social media interactions can build A TON of backlinks to your website, which lets search engines know your site is worth displaying in search results.
Did I lose you with this backlink talk? No problem.
To put it simply, search engines scour the internet to see what websites are linked to the most. Websites with the most backlinks show up higher in search results.
Let’s say 100 websites link back to your business website, while only 25 websites link back to your competitor’s site. Google and other search engines will view you as more important than your competitor, so you’ll appear higher in search results.
That sounds great! So how does social media help with these backlinks?
First, social media can directly create a lot of backlinks.
If you create good, valuable content on social media, people will share it. If that content contains a link to your website, every person who shares it creates a backlink.
Did your post get 50 shares? That’s 50 backlinks to your website.
Wait. Did you just hear that whoosh sound? That’s your search engine rank skyrocketing.
On top of that, social media can indirectly create backlinks.
What does that mean?
If your content gets shared a lot on social media, the possibility of other sites latching onto it increases. Did your awesome blog post get shared a lot? Another website might see it and link to your blog in their website content, giving you another backlink.
Did that whet your appetite? Here’s an in-depth explanation from Neil Patel. (This gives him another backlink, by the way. See how it works?)
4. Optimize for internal search engines
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and any other social media has their own search engines. People use them all the time. In fact, some people search for businesses on social media before they even consider Google.
With that in mind, optimize your social media posts for these internal search engines.
Make sure you use keywords in your bio. Are you an automotive business? Don’t forget to mention that in your Facebook’s “about” section.
If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, use the best hashtags for what you’re sharing. Need help with that? I explain how to pick the best hashtags over here.
Finally, don’t forget about photos. Posts with photos get more interaction that posts without them, and social medias rank posts with photos higher on searches. (Google Images will also index your social media photos, so that’s the icing on the cake!)
What are some other ways to integrate social media into your SEO strategy? What has and hasn’t worked for you? Tweet me about it! @_Jaroldo_