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It’s no secret that to convince Google that your site is worthy of being shown at the top of the search results – backlinks are one of your best friends. In time gone by, this could be achieved quite easily and in a relatively short turnaround (though Marcus proved that Google’s new rules have almost obliterated these tactics.)
Social Media in SEO
SEO is becoming more complex by the day and the game is all about second-guessing Google. The Mountain View based search giants are notoriously guarded about their algorithms – and it’s the job of digital marketing agencies and SEO teams to try and decipher the rules and regulations. One thing we do know is that Social Media is becoming one of the most important factors in driving modern websites into 2013, 2014 and beyond. As a testament to popularity, authority and reliability – the likes of Facebook and Twitter are responsible for some significant movement in the SERPs.
As a direct result of Google’s Penguin 2.0 update earlier this year, content has become the new Holy Grail in online marketing. The strength in content and the method of identifying its value (and thus the value of the website behind the content) is through its popularity. Shares, tweets, +1s, pins, likes – these are all the KPIs of content. Social media simply can’t be ignored in marketing campaigns, SEO drives and brand engagement. With more than a few investigations into the fake Facebook likes and other social metrics, it’s commonly accepted that ‘paid-for’ endorsements simply don’t work.
Social Media Signals
Dissecting the impact of social media on website performance – experts have unearthed 3 signals that govern the social identity of the website. Far from being based simply on Likes, the landscape is a bit bumpier than one would expect.
Social Engagement is the conventional mode, based on those the share and like format. Engagement defines the quality of any given piece of content, based on the assumption that only content of merit will be shared and syndicated across the social channels. Tied in with this are mentions which normally consist of links to a target website, but brand mentions are also cited to have an impact. Linking helps to assign content to its author, important for the linkbait articles and images which share in their thousands across the web. Google Authorship and the upcoming Author Rank plays a pivotal role here.
Incorporating a Social Strategy
Bringing social media into an existing marketing strategy is a simple and pain-free process, but pays dividends in the long run. Some of the most straightforward (and crucial) actions to take when implementing this into your campaign can be;
- Installing a social feed onto your website’s content page
- Using social widgets on blog posts to encourage social sharing
- Manually sharing all content through social channels as it goes live
- Use a social scheduler to keep your brand’s social presence continuous
- Include social links wherever naturally possible
- Make sure your social pages are linked to your website and details
- Using Calls-to-Action in tandem with social pages, not just sign-up pages
A Parting Thought
One of the most important things to keep in your mind when writing content for your website’s blog, knowledge-base or news section – is to ask yourself “is this shareable?” If it’s not, then it could be a waste of time.
Embrace social media, bring it into your marketing campaign, enjoy success. What’s not to love?