Keywords and link building are no longer the gateway to SEO. Social Media has completely transformed the way we find, digest, and share information online, and Google’s algorithm is changing to suit consumer behavior all the time. If you haven’t incorporated a well-crafted social strategy into your website management — well friend — it’s time to get with it.
Think of your website as an eager middle-schooler, and Google is picking out a dodgeball team. You have to have all the right stuff if you want to get picked first. You need brains (optimized media strategy), brawn (strong onsite content) and popularity (if a lot of people like you, you’re probably a good pick, right?).
Social is a major driver of website traffic. It's important that users are able to find your page through a Google search, and easily share its content via social in order to keep your search rankings and community engagement high. Search engines now incorporate social signals into their rankings, meaning Google can detect an engaged social audience and will rank sites that see high referral traffic from social channels.
If you’re ready to stake your claim at the top of a Google results page, grab a pen and check out these 5 tips for marrying a quantifiable social strategy and SEO:
Publish high-quality content. First and foremost, your content should provide value to users. It should be easily digestible, visually appealing, and relevant to your industry. Use tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner to research popular search terms within your industry. This will help you to find the most popular phrasing and word choice users enter into Google searches. Incorporate what you discover into your site content in order to boost your search rankings. Users are more likely to click on a heading or stay on a page where they see the specific words they have searched for.
Optimize your content for social. Visually appealing content with interesting images are most likely to be shared via social. Include social widgets on the page to make it easy for users to tweet or share content on their Facebook page with one simple click. Optimize your images by giving them relevant, descriptive file names. This will help to enhance Google image search rankings. Also, think about the types of articles that users are most likely to share. Use catchy titles, list-form blogs, and ask questions of your readers to get them engaged with comments and shares.
Be present on social. Don’t solely rely on users to engage with your content. You have to get in there yourself! Listen to your social audience and grow your business. Social is a fast and cost effective mode of communication between a business and its customers. Fans will reach out with questions, reviews, and will even post complaints on a company’s page. It’s important that you not only present them with content, but are also engaging with them on a personal level in order to harness and care for your brand audience.
Don’t over optimize. Always think of the user first, and search engines second. Over reaching with links and piling on tags and keywords will overwhelm a search engine, and damage your “reputation” with it. Your content can also appear spamy and inauthentic. Be clear, concise, and accurate, and your page will start generating traffic in no time!
Measure the results. If you go to all the trouble of creating a site, optimizing its content, and crafting and executing a social strategy, be sure to measure your results! Use back end tools like Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools to evaluate your site’s performance, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Take notice of how users are behaving on your site, and give them what they’re looking for.
Factors like site performance and content indexing can also effect a site’s SEO. Seek out online tools and browser extensions to monitor link performance and site traffic. No matter what your industry, a strategic online presence is crucial for success. Contact the team at matchstick social help you perform a website SEO audit today, and learn how to broaden your audience!