Social SEO, or the practice of optimizing search engine results via social media activity, can be a great way of driving traffic to your company, brand, or service. Social media sites rank high enough in Google’s ranking to make them prime real estate to drive traffic where you want. There are some tips that can help get your social media activity ranked higher in the results. For example, getting “likes” on your Facebook posts will add weight to Google’s ranking because search engine algorithms value crowd science. The article below details other valuable tools to incorporate into your own social SEO practices.
By Eli Goodman
Optimizing your social presence for search is important, right? That is certainly what we’ve all been told for some time, but determining why it’s important and deciding where to focus can be challenging. Exponential growth of a medium is great and all, but your problems figuring out how to tame the wild beast tend to grow exponentially as well.
Let’s discuss a couple of simple ideas regarding conversational media (i.e., social networking sites and blogs) and its relation to search:
- How to help your social pages rank better
- How to help your website rank better with social influences
A Little Perspective About the Market as a Whole
The growth in activity at conversational media sites is undeniable. The number of unique has increased more than 80 percent since 2007 to 213 million in May 2011, while total visits to the category grew 136 percent to 6.2 billion.
Since a search click to a website represents one type of site visit, this is where we can begin to connect the dots on influence between navigation events. The number of search clicks to the category reached 845 million in May, accounting for 13.5 percent of the total visits to the category. That number has grown 145 percent since 2007, outpacing gains in both unique visitors and total category visits.
Branded social media searches (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and people searches (e.g., friends, celebrities) appear to be the two primary growth drivers of search clicks.
Although these types of terms still make up the vast majority of the terms driving traffic to conversational media sites, the fastest growing search traffic segment is actually big name brands. Well-known consumer brands have finally begun to embrace their conversational media assets and are driving a considerable amount of traffic directly to Facebook and Twitter in addition to their own websites.
When combining the top 20 brand names in retail, finance, and travel, their branded searches delivered over 1.6 million clicks directly to Facebook, a 1,300 percent increase since mid-2009.
How to Help Your Social Pages Rank Better
Links on SERPs are like shelves in a store: Owning more shelf space, and the more varieties you have to offer, invariably will drive more sales (clicks). Because you will already own the premium position for your website for your branded searches, further promotion of your social media assets can only improve your end game.
Link From Your Homepage
It can’t be as simple as linking from your homepage, can it? Actually, it can because search engine algorithms absolutely value these links when scoring sites (more on this later).
Despite this reality, 6 of the top 20 most searched for Retail brands did not have any sort of social media integration on their homepages. Talk about a missed opportunity! Linking from your home page and using your brand name in the link will have immediate impact.
Use Brand Names in Posts
URLs that match search terms have a built in advantage for high SEO rankings on that search. This same principle will apply to the words you use in your social media posts, so be sure to use the brand names of your company and your products when posting for maximum effect.
Search engine algorithms value crowd science quite heavily in their rankings (link building relationships). This same type of value is given to likes, follows, +1′s, etc. This is an inherent trust metric and will impact rankings as well.
Getting likes can be easier said than done. It may require some creative marketing tactics that engage your customers and make them smile.
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