The Role of Social Media in SEO: Leveraging Social Platforms for Better Visibility

Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the best way to go about this. By working on a product’s SEO, a company can ensure a higher ranking in search engines. This is important because statistically, most internet users do not browse beyond the first couple of pages when looking for something. By having a high search engine ranking, a company can be assured that it is being seen by a large number of people. In order to effectively increase a product’s SEO, it is important to maintain recent and frequently updated content. This ensures that the data sent out by the company is both relevant and accurate. Agile software development can be very beneficial to this. Web content should be simple to understand, and keywords should be premeditated in order to attract a certain audience. A company may also make use of tools such as AdWords in order to budget advertising costs.

The internet has greatly changed the way that companies promote their products. Most companies have abandoned old-fashioned advertising methods and instead prefer to advertise their products online. By utilizing the World Wide Web, companies are able to reach a far greater consumer base than before. More people are realizing that the internet provides a much cheaper way to reach a larger audience. This is largely due to the fact that the internet does not have geographical boundaries and instead relies on the creator to correctly optimize the product being sold.

Importance of SEO in Online Marketing

Gaining a competitive advantage has never been more critical and SEO service can lend a helping hand. However there are still many companies aiming to reduce costs and cut corners with their SEO  tasks. It is said on, the general theory of buying low and selling high is the opposite to what should be done with marketing in a recession. So if sales need to be made, it is essential to make the right products more accessible to targeted customers. This is where SEO can be used effectively to increase visibility of products and reduce costs in comparison to traditional advertising during tough economic times.

Online marketing and information retrieval has never been more necessary for businesses. In August 2008, The Times reported that due to the credit crunch, the UK was facing tough times. Chancellor Alistair Darling had suggested that families could see the worst economic conditions in 60 years. It was stated that people should prepare for higher food and energy bills, with the decline of house prices and increase in repossessions, a lot of money could be lost. With the economy in bad shape spending is something that needs to be done cautiously if at all. The current circumstances could put many businesses in jeopardy. With less spending money from consumers, sales of certain products could decline and hit some businesses hard.

In a recent article by Kelsey Jones on Search Engine Journal, it was argued that conventional methods of advertising to customers who are now indulged in the online world are becoming less and less effective. mentioned the global increase of broadband connections has resulted in more people spending time online than watching TV. An article by Claire Cain Miller on The New York Times reported that for the first time last year, online advertising spending had surpassed that of print advertising. Their studies showed that money spent on ads placed in newspapers and magazines had dropped by 16%, whilst online advertising had increased by 14%, equating to $25.8 billion, surpassing the $22.8 billion spent on print ads.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has now become a vital part in the marketing sector. As detailed in the introduction, competitors within each sector are fighting for the highest rankings within search engines to retrieve as much traffic as possible. With sales being the main objective, it is a crucial way to promote services or products to customers.

Growing Significance of Social Media in SEO

The world is running after ease in lifestyle and internet media provides the best way to find the appropriate information. Social media is commonly used as the platform to find information on the internet and is also considered as an easier process. This is the main idea why SEO has leveraged the use of social media to access their targets. It is also considered the easiest way to spread a word or information and get it noticed by a large number of people. Social media uses the idea of a virtual community and targets a specific set of people to share information, views, and ideas. This is known as a perfect environment for the traditional SEO techniques which we were doing on search engines. Nowadays, the content and the information are directly shared in the form of links, images, videos. If the SEO is able to apply the right kind of technique to that information, it will definitely be accessed by the people who were looking for that kind of information. This is the most beneficial part as compared to using a search engine for SEO.

At the inception of SEO for online marketing, only the links back to the website and its popularity were counted. The use of social media has changed the scenario and the methodology of using SEO for online marketing. The concept of social media has brought about the traditional SEO up to the next level and the two-way process used as a strategy. Now the leverage of how your website gets positioned in the market can be accessed using how well they have used social media.

Benefits of Social Media for SEO

The second way is through social media profile links. When your Twitter or Google+ profile becomes popular, it is likely to show up in search results when someone is looking for your brand. This is the result of having more social links for your Twitter and Google+ profiles and the acquisition of more followers.

There are a couple of ways in which social media links can affect your search engine visibility. The first way is through the promotion of your content. When you Tweet or Like a web page, it doesn’t necessarily help that page to rank better, but it does help the page to be indexed faster. Indexing is simply the search engine’s way of collecting and storing that Twitter or Facebook URL in its library. The more links that are acquired on social media, the easier it is for a page to be indexed. This is why it is essential to have share buttons on all of your blog posts.

The purpose of SEO is to increase your website’s visibility and ranking in organic search results. To achieve this, you require amazing content as well as an active presence on social media. Since fans and followers are the people who will ultimately see and share your content, it is sensible that the more people who are following you on social media, the more potential there is for more traffic to your website.

Increased Website Traffic

The second way is through improving on-site optimization to increase website traffic. This strategy has more long term benefits for bringing traffic to your website. By making your website more SEO-friendly and creating SEO-rich content, you can increase the likelihood of your website getting more traffic from organic search. This is beneficial to content that has “long term value.” In other words, the content will still be relevant and bring traffic to your website months, or even years down the line. An example would be if one has a website for his computer business. By creating SEO-rich articles, such as a series of “how to” guides for fixing certain software issues, he can attract traffic to his website for an extended period of time. This is because quality content that is SEO-friendly will have higher rankings in search engines, and the higher the ranking the more traffic it will bring to the website.

First strategy is all about utilizing social media to promote content. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ one can easily share or promote content. Even items such as “tools” or “how to” resources can be promoted. It’s really a simple strategy, but it can be very effective. If you have a piece of content that you feel is link worthy, sharing it on social media channels can result in the content attracting inbound links. If people see the content as worthy, they may use it as a resource in their own blogs and link to it. This will result in an increase in inbound links, which is good for SEO.

There are two primary ways that social media can increase the amount of traffic that your website receives. The first way is through utilizing social media to promote content with links to your website, and the second way is through improving SEO to increase website traffic.

Enhanced Brand Visibility and Awareness

Search engine rankings are improved by more people talking about a brand. Google has stated that they take social signals into account when ranking a page. The term “social signals” refers to a webpage’s collective shares, likes, and overall social media presence. This is compelling evidence that a business’s social media activity can directly influence their search engine rankings. Social media is now an essential tool for improving brand awareness. In the past, SEO may have been the most efficient and viable way of promoting a brand, but the internet has changed and so have consumer trends. An effective marketing strategy is now based around internet marketing, and it’s here that social media and SEO have become inseparable. With nearly 50% growth in ad spending expected in the next year, businesses are increasingly allotting a larger portion of their marketing budgets to social media. It is no longer just a supplementary form of marketing used to try and boost search engine rankings.

Increased brand visibility and awareness can be achieved through smart use of social media. Many different social platforms can be used to brand pages and promote content in order to increase public exposure. Brand awareness occurs when a consumer looks for a specific brand when purchasing a product. This is different from brand visibility, which is the extent to which a brand is recognized. Brand visibility is important on the path to awareness; it starts the process by familiarizing the consumer with the brand. High brand visibility makes it more likely that customers will purchase your product when searching for a familiar brand. This is a way in which SEO is very effective.

Improved Search Engine Rankings

Search engine rankings play a major role in the world of internet marketing. Increased visibility on search engines means a greater chance for the site to be noticed by the users. The utilization of social media can have a positive impact on the search engine rankings of the site. It is obvious that search engines are now integrating results from social media sites. Twitter tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles often rank highly in search engines. For a expose or show a new product with a brand keyword, there is a good chance that the social media page could be on the first page of Google which represents a cost-effective way to enhance brand visibility and potentially increasing ROI. A strategy on social media to provide content that is interesting, funny, or controversial with the hope that it will cause consumers to link to it and share it with others. This could in turn build the popularity of the content and cause an increase in the number of inbound links. High quality, viral content has the potential to receive many links, thus greatly affecting the search engine rankings of the page. Using social media as a content distribution and discovery platform is another way to gain positive benefits for search engine rankings. Over the years there have been significant changes and an increase of the amount of multimedia and the ability to easily share it with others. Social media enables people to share content and discover new content. Package action or vote. This will result in the chance of rank improvement for the page or any other place where that content is being hosted. As stated by Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz, SMO is the new SEO and the tactic of content distribution and building inbound links through the method of sharing and engagement is now seen as an integral part to an ongoing SEO campaign.

Strategies for Leveraging Social Media in SEO

Optimize your content: Quality content receives visibility through increased social sharing and brand or personal mentions in social media channels. The correlation between social media and SEO is so close now that SEO now demands and rewards good content. As search evolves to include more social signals, both onsite and offsite content quality is a key factor to your SEO strategy. It is easier to get SEO link juice and viral social sharing activity for creative/interesting/entertaining/controversial content than buying the same with low value content. Social media research is a fantastic way to dig into your industry, segment and customer base with the goal of finding what content and conversations your customers are looking for. You may also need to assess how competitive your current consumer is and the current resources you can deploy on your social media marketing and with that to research your potential for growth in the inbound marketing.

Content Optimization for Social Sharing

– Promote strategic sharing: Don’t just promote your content in a way that asks people to visit your site. Sometimes sharing content directly on Facebook or Google+ can result in a high amount of shares, likes, and re-shares. While it’s best in the SEO perspective to get people to link back to the original content on your website, getting more people exposed to the content can result in more people who will later link to the content from their own site. This is an instance where exposure can be more important than immediate traffic to the site.

– Share content at the right times: Timing can play a big role in how well your content will do in the social media environment. If you have a large Twitter following and you tweet a link to your new content when most of your followers are asleep, you probably won’t get a lot of re-tweets. Learn when the best times to share content in your vertical are, and schedule your content to be shared at those times. A tool like Tweriod can help you learn when the most active times for your Twitter followers are.

– Create shareable content: This seems like an obvious point to make, but creating content that people can easily share is an often-overlooked aspect in social media. Putting social sharing buttons on things like articles, infographics, and video content makes it easy for users who find the material interesting to share it with their followers.

Creating high-quality content that is worth sharing is the ideal way to garner inbound links, which are the primary factor in off-page SEO. There are many ways to create a buzz around your content and leverage social media to get people talking about what you have created. A few of the key factors in creating content that will do well in the social-sphere are as follows:

Building Strong Social Media Profiles

Recommending to construct strong social media pages continues on to indicate that social andign representation acts as an exhibition stand, it is necessary to increase brand value and get the message across for SEO. It is extremely important what searchers find when they look a brand up. Faulty information or a meek brand page can harm more than it can help. Higher brand represented by positive effective messages will translate into higher CTR from social networks to your site. A well-branded page with plenty of fans in social media enters into the opportunity for a viral effect when content is shared, meaning more inbound links. Goes on to talk about customization as a form of making a brand stand out more effectively and make memorable as something exceptional. This is undeniably true but competing brands all customizing with the end result being clutter, at least according to the search engines. It is difficult to say without quantitative data in Google’s preferences of indexed pages. Regardless, customization will still allow a brand to stand out more in in and out of social media. It indicates that creating social media profiles go hand in hand with widespread reputation management. Profiles aren’t simply for brands but an impression left by any party. It is important to push up positive pages in SERPs aiming to outrank negative pages or pages with negative associations to a certain keyword. This may sorely be the case for companies with bad reputations. Using new brands would be less risky than complete rebranding and attempting to push off negative history. Social media pages provide a personable front that can be used to rebuild consumer trust.

Engaging with Influencers and Followers

For now and the foreseeable future, it’s abundantly clear that a direct relationship between the owner of a website and an authoritative figure in the many facets of social media, can produce opportunities for quality guest blog posts and articles that will improve the authority and search visibility of the site. This is a method that’s far removed from the content farm spam of years past, if an influencer is a genuinely credible source in your field, then having them create content that exemplifies E-A-T for your brand is a service to both the influencer’s personal brand and your own. But this is something that must begin with a relationship and a shared audience, so in most cases it will circle back to methods resembling PR and traditional sales. Time may be invested in community involvement and leaving insightful comments on the influencer’s own work, but however you make the connection, it’s important to properly gauge the credibility of potential advocates and the alignment of their personal brand with your site. The result of an aligned influencer working to promote your brand can also carry direct benefits to branded search, with the rich snippets of their Google+ posts on your site providing a personal touch from a credible source.

But while the potential of these relationships on brand growth can be quite significant, there’s a danger in approaching this with solely link-building intentions. As with any SEO strategy, the motivations and methods employed can carry a great deal of risk in terms of algorithmic changes and manual actions from Google. Yet it’s a constantly evolving landscape, and by staying informed on Google’s stances with regards to which social media actions are considered manipulative, you can still form an effective strategy for using these relationships to improve search visibility.

If leveraging social media has any importance to your brand and website, using every effective tool for improving traffic and results is imperative. Yet no tool is so connected to social media’s effect on search as the possibility of reaching out to key influencers in your market, and cultivating a relationship with those who are active followers of your brand. As search results become more personalized, there is an ever-increasing value in putting a face to the content and making a real person accountable for the success of a website. In an engine that’s looking to measure the E-A-T of a page or site, visibility in social media gives a real identity to your brand, while the relationships you form with those influencers and followers provide the means to promote that brand with confidence.

Case Studies: Successful Integration of Social Media and SEO

Matt Peters, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon, did a case study on the impact of tweets on search engine rankings. The study was done using a small selection of URLs for third-party content, which had limited pre-existing signals such as backlinks and keyword-optimized anchor text. Half of those URLs were tweeted by a specific ‘high-authority’ Twitter user, while the other half were not. Afterwards, all URLs were checked to see if they had been indexed by Google. The URLs that were tweeted about were all indexed, while the ones that weren’t had not been. This is a correlative study in that it could not be confirmed that the tweets were the cause of the URLs being indexed, but Peters’ conclusion was still a strong one. The pages receiving tweets were all indexed, therefore tweets likely have an effect on the rate an URL is indexed. An indexed URL is a prerequisite to a URL being displayed in a Google search, so it’s safe to say that tweets on an indexed URL could affect search engine rankings. Peters also shared his discovery on how to maximize the impact of a tweet on an URL’s search engine ranking. This is referred to as the ‘passing the first vote’ phenomenon, in which the URL first needs to be indexed by Google, which can be done with help from the ‘fetch as Google’ tool. After this the URL can be tweeted about, and if the tweet is posted as the URL is still in Google’s memory, the URL should receive a higher ranking. This method has been compared to the page being re-crawled and receiving a second and more influential vote.

Case Study 1: Company X’s Social Media SEO Success

Optimization The most popular social media websites in the UK were selected to create Company X social media profiles on. Profiles were created on Facebook, MySpace, and Eons. Warsurge was the term selected for the application of social media SEO. Zeitgeist will be used to post Company X links and information to keywords and monitor the results. Methods found will be configured into a guide and given back to Company X to intern into their current marketing team and future projects.

Research The first task that was set was to research keywords that have popularity in search engines and are relevant to the website. After this, the main content of the website was analyzed. Company X wants to appear high up in search engine rankings when these keywords are searched, so we needed to take note of that. Once all this information was gathered, we were able to compile a list of keywords to target and monitor throughout the campaign.

Case Study 1: Company X’s Social Media SEO Success (via: [Link] Company X is a hugely successful company within its sector. It is a niche market retailer in the lifestyle apparel industry. Company X was interested in how they could use social media to increase their search engine rankings and website traffic. They approached Tug to set up and manage a social media SEO campaign.

Case Study 2: How Company Y Leveraged Social Media for SEO

Case study 2: Company Y had previously used other methods to try and increase their sales. While they were successful, their previous methods were not the most efficient. After working with social media in a different context, social media was mainly used as a way to connect with customers. They were able to generate a 20% increase in sales. This method, as is the case with social media marketing from a business standpoint, was attempting to appeal to more people from an online community. The business would frequently update their page and post blogs in an attempt to attract visitors. While this was a good way to attract attention, it was not the most effective for SEO. The blog posts would be made on the company homepage and would get lost in the mix after a few weeks. This was a loss in terms of SEO for only temporary attraction. Company Y later reallocated their strategy to spend less on onsite blogging and more on industry publication. While the blog was a nice way to directly communicate with visitors, it was not the best nor the most efficient way to get the name out. To solve this, the company owner wrote a series of over 100 industry articles to demonstrate his expertise in his field. The articles were published to a variety of different web 2.0 sites and would frequently contain mentions and references back to Company Y.

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