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Understanding the relationship between social media and SEO

Search has been written in history as the major source of leads and traffic for businesses looking to benefitting from digital marketing. But with the impressive growth of social networks today, social media marketing has become even more prominent and heavily embraced. Now, you might be wondering which is more important–search or social media. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose just one because both methods are at their best when used alongside each other.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing involves optimizing and posting content on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. SEO strategy, on the other hand, involves making a website or content more discoverable so that people searching for phrases or questions about products or topics relevant to your industry or business will see your site in the results.

Search is a huge source of online customers, however, social media is also gradually rising in popularity as its importance becomes more pronounced as a marketing platform. The takeaway here is that search and social are not opponents. Rather, these two avenues of inbound marketing can work hand in hand to reinforce the results of each other.

Social Media and SEO

Although SEO and social media marketing are two very different practices, they complement each other well. Social media allows people to see new brands or content that they or their friends might be interested in. In contrast, SEO allows you to receive traffic from people searching for phrases or questions related to your company. As such, leveraging both strategies can help you acquire traffic from various sources.

To understand the complementary relationship between search and social media marketing, it’s important to know the problem these two facets solve, and that is information discovery. Google is typically used by people when they want to find an answer to a question. For social media, it’s normally used when people discover answers to questions they are yet to think of. Still, it’s easy for some to not see the difference between search engines and social media platforms. Below are ways you can integrate your efforts across these two platforms:

Put social sharing buttons on your website

Google and other searchings are starting to consider social media sharing data as a factor in determining search rankings. For marketers, it’s crucially important to place social media sharing buttons on your site and blog to encourage visitors and customers to share your content in their social media accounts. These social buttons will help boost traffic from social media, all the while helping your site to rank better in search engines.

Employ an integrated keyword strategy

Again, the line between social media networks and search engines is getting blurry. To solve this, use the keyword strategy for your site and implement it on your social media engagement when appropriate. Be careful, however, of cramming tweets or posts full of keywords. It’s crucial to be aware of how you are phrasing your social media messages. When done properly, incorporating keywords into your social media content can expand the reach of your messages.

Traditionally, the links in Facebook status updates, tweets, and other social media messages are no-follow links. In other words, they don’t carry any SEO authority to the site they’re linking to. Although this is beginning to change, it’s essential to understand that the URL in the social media accounts’ bio is the following link. So, make sure to leverage this opportunity and get some extra links.

YouTube and SlideShare are two of the most powerful social media platforms that provide video and presentation content, respectively. When sharing your content using these two types of platforms, make sure to include links to related articles or other content pieces on your website. Doing so will increase your website traffic and help you create new inbound links. When a person writes an article about your content, chances are, they’ll insert a link from the presentation, simply because it’s easier that way.

For many years, SEO has been about building inbound links. Yes, inbounds links are important, but you should also consider social media reach as it is a secondary metric for those wanting to boost their search traffic. As mentioned before, social media data is becoming a search engine ranking factor. By boosting your social followers or fans, you can get more people to share your content on social media. Through quality content creation and engagement, you can establish and expand your social media reach, all the while, building more inbound links.


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