The business minds of e-commerce industry are always abuzz about social media’s contribution to influencing SEO. The term “Social media SEO” refers to the various social media activities businesses implement to boost the organic traffic of their websites via search engines. And the term never gets old.
Today, every marketer strives to appear in Google’s Featured Snippets, and if you are aiming for the same, social media can be one of your best allies for improving SEO. However, to get ranking benefits from your social media posts, you must understand its working mechanisms.
So before I get into discussing social media SEO tips, let’s first briefly discuss how it works.
How much does social media contribute as a SEO ranking factor?
As per Google; not much. Google has been particularly enigmatic about whether its rankings are influenced by social media at all, and often stated social media is not a direct factor for SEO rankings. Even Google’s Matt Cuts said in a video that metrics such as Twitter followers and Facebook likes do not affect search ranking.
However, the experience of most industry professionals is quite the contrary. Studies found that though social media might not be a direct factor, it still significantly influences SEO rank.
In April of 2019, Quicksprout, published a great infographic on the evolution of SEO in the light of Google’s game-changing algorithm update; Hummingbird. It showed how highly engaging social media content has much higher SEO value than its less popular counterparts.
And it makes sense.
Google’s algorithm is continuously tweaked to produce high-quality, useful content in its SERPs. To do so, Google measures the value of the content on each social media site since social media is a fundamental factor. This is because they represent an independent assessment of a page’s content.
For example, Hootsuite had conducted research where it tested the SEO results of blogs and articles with, as well as without, social promotion. The results showed that the sites with a high number of social shares received a boost of 22% throughout the duration of the experiment.
When 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy from brands they follow, and 80% of US social networks connect to brands through Facebook, like it or not, you need to start optimizing your business’s Facebook.
So, to help you improve your SEO rankings, I have identified 5 top-notch ways to drive traffic to your page:
1. Establish a brand name and make it known
The internet has become an overcrowded place. Therefore, to stand out from your competitors, you will need to build an authentic, strong and engaging brand presence. Once you develop a specific logo, design, ethos, and tone of your brand in social media, it helps your followers to recognize your brand instantly within a sea of competitors.
But how can you establish your brand appropriately on social media?
Firstly, think about your brand’s mission and create content that clearly expresses what your company is passionate about.
Secondly, you must make sure that your content delivers an on-brand message to keep it relevant to your audience and cohesive.
Thirdly, align everything, from your logo, tagline, message, voice, and personality to reflect your brand’s purpose. (Take Nike for example; its mission is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” and it even adds a footnote in its content that states, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”.)
Focus on your niche audience, and they will automatically bring traffic to your page once you increase awareness about your business brand within that niche.
2. Get more quality links
Generating backlinks is fundamental when it comes to a website’s SERP rankings. And, both the quality and the quantity of the backlinks strongly affect those rankings. Some of the best link building techniques on Facebook are as follows:
- Add your website’s link in the “Basic info” section on the “About” tab. (and make sure to mark this field as public, so that each and every visitor gets to see it)
- Utilize the “page buttons” (the big blue ones that show up below the cover photo) and edit them to include a link to your website.
- ‘Pin’ your posts at the top of your social media profile, so that people get to see it at once when they visit your website
- Add your website links to the photos and videos you post on social media
3. Publish high quality content
If you want your social media page to rank higher in SERPs, you will not only need to focus on the right keywords but create original and unique content of value. Do not keep stuffing keywords blindly. Instead, focus on producing content that organically attracts links and gives your target consumers precisely what they are looking for. Also, if you want your updates to spread like wildfire, it will be essential to optimize them for shareability. That means:
- Crafting viral headlines
- Uploading eye-catchy images
- Asking the audience to share the content
- Adding your website link to the content you post
Make sure the content you write is entertaining, helpful and enticing enough to make people talk about it. It will help you climb the search engine ladder effortlessly.
4. Engage in active communication
While crafting high-quality content, you also need to engage and build a strong relationship with your customers. And, the first step to building a relationship with your audience is to understand their demands and desires.
Nurture your relationship by initiating relevant conversations. Ask them for useful suggestions about the elements that you can further improve and try to be aware of the difficulties they face to engage with the brand. You must aim to respond to their comments as soon as possible in order to create a positive impression.
Interactive conversations remain crucial to your social media SEO efforts as they help you build a strong sense of community, strengthen bonding and built authority while providing value.
5. Invest in building partnerships
You won’t be able to reach out to a global base of your target audience by just depending on organic reach. So, you should invest in what social media does best as compared to any other marketing channels; i.e. fostering relationships.
Primarily, try to concentrate on these three basic forms of relationship-building:
Brand loyal fans: They are active social media users who idolize your brand and help you increase the exposure of your content and build positive brand mentions by acting as the brand’s active advocates.
Influencers: Influencers are celebrities and important personalities who promote your content in their pages which in turn helps you drive traffic to your site.
Strategic Partners: You can co-create valuable content with strategic partners or influential people within your industry to leverage your social audiences.
The best digital marketers make use of the aforementioned partners as well as their organic followers to drive more visitors to their website.
Finally, to ensure that your SEO efforts pay off successfully, you must measure your progress regularly. Whether your aim was to increase the total number of shares per cost or generating social referral traffic to your website, it will be essential to measure the metrics.
So before jumping on the social media bandwagon, have a crystal clear idea about your actions and how you are planning to measure its success. As you can see, social media engagement provides search engines with external validation of a page’s value.
And, social media marketing has, undoubtedly, an immense potential to offer improved brand loyalty, increased brand recognition, higher conversion rates and better rank in SERPs, thereby improving your sales manifold.