Monday, 31 December 2012
Integrating Social Strategy for SEO Benefits
If you manage or maintain a website, then you know how vital SEO can be in driving up your web traffic. This year saw some big changes to Google’s search algorithms, calling for an updated and more involved approach to SEO. Google now incorporates social media rankings as well as regularly updated, relevant content into its search algorithm. This means that if a website hopes to rank highly in search results, it should incorporate social media efforts as well as new content creation (such as an up to date blog) into its SEO strategy.
Social Media Pages Rise in Search Results
Social media pages, such as Google+ and Facebook, can now rank much higher in search results, so it’s more important than ever for businesses to maintain profiles on these sites. The more popular these pages are on the social network, the higher their search rankings will be. Encouraging adds, likes, and followers will all help your page profile, and companies that understand how to engage and involve social networks gain the additional benefits of better search results. Social media pages should be optimized with relevant keywords, and they should be updated regularly with content relevant to your industry. On top of increasing SERP listings, building a social media presence can help spread the word about your company, and it makes it easy for others to spread the word for you by sharing or liking relevant links and posts.
Build Link Citations
Building link citations can also help drive more users to your site, and the more that these links are clicked, the higher the site will rank. Google is a spider-driven search engine, which means that a search starts with a handful of relevant and popular sites, then ‘spider-webs’ out from links on those sites, analyzing content and keywords to bring what Google determines to be the most relevant results. The popularity of the linked pages, as well as the number of link clicks, will both affect the search rankings for that link.
You can build link citations in forums and on directories around the web. Content-driven websites often build link citations by encouraging and sharing links with other content creators around the web. Links in social media page posts will also be considered by spider-driven search engines like Google, so you should link to your site and to blog posts on these pages. Be wary of duplicate content, though – you don’t want to repeat content from posts on your site and your blog/social media posts as this will hurt your SERP rankings.
Establish and implement Keywords
Strong, relevant keywords are still important to bringing traffic to your site. These key words or phrases should also be incorporated into your social media pages. These pages are a good place to build both link and keyword citations. Business contact citations and keyword citations on a popular and active social media page will help increase the value of these citations for your site. Keep in mind that keywords have more weight when they are in Titles, Subtitles, and metadata. You can find more tips for keyword placement in this helpful article.
Create a Business Blog
Due to an increased focus on current, updated content, it is more important than ever for a business to maintain a blog on their site. A blog is a good platform to create regularly updated content, which will keep your page ranking high in search results, so it can help drive more traffic onto your landing page. A blog will allow you to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and a well written and relevant post might even have a chance to go viral, which can give your traffic a huge boost!
A social approach to blogging will help build more industry connections. An updated blog can provide many benefits on top of increased SERP performance. Connecting and sharing links with others in your industry can help generate a lot more links to your business around the web. You can use your social media pages to connect readers to your blog posts, which makes it easy for them to share these posts with their contacts.
A New SEO Strategy
In light of these changes to Google’s search algorithms, your business needs a new, more social kind of SEO strategy to keep up with the competition. Your strategy should incorporate regularly updated content, and establish an active social media presence. While this will require more time and effort than you probably spent before on SEO, it can also help establish a stronger online presence and industry standing. Google made these changes to encourage current and updated web content, and to help define and direct more relevant traffic onto the right web pages. Understanding and embracing the changes to search engine mechanics can help your business stay ahead of the competition and high in your SERP rankings.
How has social strategy influenced your SEO efforts?