Two of our biggest digital media focuses are search engine optimization (SEO) and social media.
But how do these two channels work together? How does Google see any correlation between the two? These are some questions digital marketers have heard from their C-suite. The fact is, SEO and social media are intertwined.
There are many ways you can boost your SEO program with social media and gain efficiency for your social program.
Did you know six of the top 10 organic ranking factors have social correlations? Studies have shown Google +1s, Facebook shares and tweets all have a correlation to how a page ranks in Google. Other major correlation factors include a site’s click-through rate, keywords relevant to the page and the number of back-links.
In February of this year, Twitter announced their rekindled partnership with Google. When searching on mobile (and eventually desktop) you’ll find tweets populating in Google in real-time. This opens a whole new window into how you should be utilizing Twitter.
So how do you incorporate SEO into your social strategy? Check out these four tips to boost your SEO game using social media.
Related Article: 6 Toxic SEO Habits You Should Stop Today
Use Pinnacle Keywords in Social Posts
A good SEO program ties relevant, highly searched keywords to corresponding pages on a website. When you share those pages on your social media channels, make sure you use those same pinnacle keyword(s) for the corresponding page in the post.
These keywords should be used in the social post copy and/or used as hashtags. It’s a good rule of thumb to have your primary keyword as close to the beginning of the copy as possible.
Tip in Action:
Tie Social with Content Marketing
We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King” more times that we all would prefer. About 90 percent of companies are using content marketing, and 38 percent of marketers have been doing it for five years or longer. Back in April Moz released a case study showing how social, content marketing and using your SEO knowledge to facilitate a campaign increased site traffic by over 4,000 percent.
So how can you replicate these kind of results? When promoting new and existing content, make sure to use the same keywords in social posts you optimized for in your content.
The ideal end game is to have ownership of search engine results pages (SERPs) for key phrases. If someone is searching for a topic you have written about, in a perfect world your article, Pinterest board and tweets all populate in the SERP.
Related Article: Why Links Will Always Matter in SEO Marketing
Tip in Action:
Social Campaigns Focused Around Key Pages
Social signals have been a part of how search engines assess and deliver relevant content since 2009. Search engine algorithms listen to social signals as a sign web users value your content—almost like a “popularity” metric.
Building awareness via social campaigns is a great way to get exposure to your site and help get a page ranking. However, you don’t want to just aimlessly share a page that doesn’t add value to the visitor. Questions to ask are:
- Why would someone want to see this page?
- Does it have helpful information?
- Is the content shareable?
- Will others feel an emotional response (funny, heartfelt, useful) from the audience?
- Does it have a clear call-to-action?
- What social platform would this content be most effective on?
- What is the goal of the campaign?
Another key point for any social campaign is to identify key influencers in your space. Reach out to them and see how you can partner with them to share your content. Having someone who is an authority on a subject share your content gives more credit to the work you are doing (check out the tip in action below to see a prominent home decorating blogger tweeting Pier 1 content).
Once you’ve done the ground work, it’s time to get started. Push out the content on your social channels. Don’t forget to optimize your social posts so they have pinnacle keywords in the copy (the first point mentioned).
Tip in Action:
Optimize Pinterest Board Names
Pinterest has become a juggernaut in the social space over the years. It seems as though every woman planning a wedding, redecorating her home or planning her next meal is on Pinterest. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drives 5.06 percent of overall visits to sites around the web—making it the second highest social referral site.
That said, when creating boards on Pinterest, keep SEO in mind. Why? Board names are indexed and actually populate in the SERPS. This can give extra exposure to your Pinterest account and ultimately traffic to your site. Think of high search volume phrases that describe the pins in your boards. Come up with themes based on these key phrases and you should start seeing positive results as a result.
For example, if you are a retailer and sell home décor—look into topics such as DIY home décor and/or small space ideas. These all have high search volumes and give you an opportunity to rank for those board names. Keep in mind you don’t want to rely solely on SEO names as you want them to be engaging and fun as well. It’s a balancing act.
Related Article: Just Pin It: Harnessing the Power of Pinterest for Your Business
Tip in Action:
Bonus Tip: Popular SEO Keywords Used for Paid Social Efficiencies
According to eMarketer, “Advertisers worldwide will spend $23.68 billion on paid media to reach consumers on social networks this year, a 33.5 percent increase from 2014. By 2017, social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion, representing 16 percent of all digital ad spending globally.”
This increase in ad spend has been in part due to social platforms like Facebook creating a pay-to-play model to gain any significant reach. It’s safe to say paid social has become a viable business option for marketers, and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
For years SEOs and paid search teams have collaborated to gain efficiency on both sides of the fence. Paid search can learn where they can back off on budget when the SEO team are ranking high for expensive keywords. SEOs can learn things like what ad titles are working for a certain landing page and test those in their page title tags.
But social ads aren’t populated in the SERPs. How can SEO help paid social teams? SEOs know what keywords get clicks. They understand content, how to write it and make it discoverable. As a result, optimizing social ad copy can help with click-through-rates and CPCs.
The goal of this tactic isn’t increasing search rankings—it’s creating a better ad to get more clicks and lower CPCs. We’ve been testing this across a variety of brands and this synergy has proven to be successful with increases in CTRs and decreases in CPCs.
Social media isn’t just about funny cat videos. It is a great way to push your content out to the world. Why wouldn’t you make your social post copy with SEO in mind? Try these tactics and see how they can work for you.