Back in the day, the marketing world was ruled by “the old Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”. This was before online marketing and an SEO strategy became a must have for any business besides the usual website presence.
Back then, all your SEO strategy needed to have and be good at was link building. There was nothing like Google penalties leave alone any objective whatsoever. All that mattered was the quantity of your links. Quality wasn’t the name of the game. And so, the higher the links on your site, the higher your website ranked on search engine page results.
Today, link building on its own doesn’t deliver the kind of results most businesses need. It’s no longer about the quantity but the quality. Furthermore, if your links are considered spam, Google will also penalise you which can greatly affect your search ranking in search results. As such, link building shouldn’t be the focus of your SEO strategy. Google has become smart and now uses social media to also measure the popularity of your website.
Having a social media presence is so crucial for any business regardless of whether your company was established before the birth of social media channels or just starting up. It’s now more important than ever to have an online presence than it was in the past. These new strategies need you to interact, engage and be dynamic for your audience. Social media is one of the channels where your business can freely do that.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important for you to include social media in your company’s SEO strategy.
Social media is the fastest way to build your online presence
The thing about link building is that you need content for it. But if your website isn’t ranked on the top pages of search engine results, how will people find you? It’s like creating signs to your website the only problem being that no one is looking. It’s like erecting a billboard on a deserted island.
On the other hand, social media is like a 24-hour battlefield where there’s always certain activities taking place every second. It’s a lively space where social engagement and interaction happens in real time. The real-time activity occurrence is what gives it that extra edge over link building. Therefore, it’s important for your brand to have a presence on different social media channels.
However, it’s important that you share content each day. If you are creating social media for the sake off and aren’t planning to post anything, then you are better off without one. For you to engage your audience and build your presence, you need to be both social and active.
Your social media accounts are the sure way for you to increase your presence online simply because that’s where everyone is. For you to reach the right people, you need to be consistent and build the right buzz for your website and brand. This is important since search engines crawl the world wide web for any content that matches a user’s search. If your social media can give that, then your online presence will have more impact on your business’ bottom line.
You get real traffic from social links
Research has shown that links form any SEO link building strategy rarely bring any new visitor to your site. In fact, it’s estimated that about 95 percent or more of such links bear no results. They basically sit on other websites but have no impact at all.
Google realised that by ranking websites based on the number of links and not quantity, they were allowing websites with junk and spam to fill the web. Most SEO link building companies would build links from sites that would never bring your business any kind of traffic leave alone a potential customer. Instead, to get the work done, they would fabricate links in order for them to boost your search engine ranking. Since Google changed its algorithms, link building no longer works, and by investing in it, you will be throwing away money that you could have invested in something else.
On the other hand, social links have the capacity to generate traffic to your website and increase your followers on your social networks. This means that these people can be converted into your customers and even promote your business.
Link building is just for social proofing
We can’t refute the fact that link building done genuinely can actually work. However, the chances are minimal. Why? Because Google realised that it was very easy to manipulate links than it is to manipulate social media channels.
The whole idea of Google using links to rank websites was considered as a vote for your site. This meant that the more links you had to your website, the more credible your website was. For some SEO companies to make money and prove that they were working, they began building links manually. Google, in an attempt to counter the fake links, figured that some links should matter more than others.
Yet again, SEO companies started shopping for websites that would give businesses the best votes or links. With this realisation, Google introduced the penalty and begun penalising websites with too many links that were of poor quality.
The manipulation of links is what made the link building process lack merit and hence why it isn’t effective anymore. Google has, therefore, had to rely on social media channels for social proofing since they are difficult to manipulate.
Your link building can be crowdsourced on social media
The thing about having a social media account is that you get followers who are into your brand and can like, comment and share your content. After all, how else will social media live up to its social name without those elements? This can be a big part of your SEO strategy.
Most companies have invested in blogs where they are able to write and share their own content. These blog posts can then be shared on social channels like Twitter and Facebook where page followers can then share them. Businesses can also make it easier for their followers to share their content from their website by adding social buttons. This way, once someone reads the content from your site they can choose what social channel to share it to, WhatsApp included.
The more people read and share your content the more interest it creates which helps increase your online presence, amass followers and boosts your page ranking – an essential part of your SEO strategy.
You must have come across social signals at one point or another. And if you are yet, no need to worry, we will explain what it is.
Social signals are likes, pins, votes, shares and views that people place on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social sites that are then filtered out to the numerous search engines. That said, Google now uses your social media channels to measure your website’s activities. Do you frequently share content on your social media channels? How many times do people visit your website in search of social channels? How many followers/fans do you have? Are there social sharing elements on your website for visitors?
All the above factors used by Google is making social signals take over link building. Your focus needs to shift from building links to how healthy your presence is on social media. Why? Because company social media accounts act as a second customer service department. It’s where most people go to reach out to brands and products they use when they have questions or complaints. This helps build trust among customers who then give positive reviews on sites like Google Local.
The number of positive reviews your website gets plays a key role especially in local search engine rankings by Google. This simply means that Google uses online reviews from social media sites like Facebook to rank and index your site.
Social media helps you avoid Google penalties from link building
As mentioned earlier, a poorly done link building process can make Google penalise your website. It’s quite clear that Google doesn’t like aggressive link building. That’s why Google came up with the penalty in order to “punish” websites that were using fake links in order to rank high on SERPs.
These penalties are based on:
- Use of wrong directories to link build
- Using backlinks from shoddy sites
- Blog comments spamming
- Anchor texts and content that’s overoptimized
- Too many ads on your website
Besides, Google is always updating their algorithm to make sure that websites abide by their rules. If your site is a party to any of the above pointers and you realise you no longer appear in the top searches of Google, just know that you are being penalised.
However, your social media can help you avoid getting penalised. All you need to do is ensure that your content marketing strategy is in sync with your social media strategy. This way, you will be able to build natural links that are real and most sought after by search engines which will help get your website rewarded.
Google+ is a Google darling
This is a no-brainer. After all, Google+ is a brainchild of Google itself. As such, Google will always factor in your Google+ presence. This means that just like any other social media account you have, your Google+ page can’t be dormant.
If you have a Google+ account, ensure that you at least post something more often on your profile or on other Google+ communities. By making these posts, you will be indirectly telling Google that you deserve to be ranked high on their search engine.
Tips on How to Boost Your Social Media
There’s no doubt that social media needs to be part of your SEO strategy. The seven pointers above are a clear indication. But what can you do to ensure that your social media is working for you?
- Be active
There’s no way around this. Don’t just sit and expect your social media to rank in search engines or get followers if you aren’t sharing or posting anything. If you don’t have the resources, you can get a freelancer from sites like Upwork to ensure there’s always content that’s shared.
- Encourage customer feedback
Your number one way of creating engagement on social media is through your followers. Encourage them to give feedback and write reviews about your products and services.
- Use visual content
Visual content like infographics are a great way for sharing content. People are flooded with text content everywhere, and they want to put them off. An infographic is a good way for you to attract people and have them share it with friends.
- Video marketing
Video marketing is the new thing. From live videos to YouTube videos, video marketing is a great and interesting way to share your content with your audience. However, ensure that your videos are short as most people first consider the length of a video before they decide on whether they’ll watch it.
- Contests and giveaways
This is a great way of creating engagements and getting more followers. People like getting gifts and wouldn’t mind taking part in a contest on social media. To even make it more interesting, contests, where users have to get their friends to like or share their photos or posts, will always give you high engagement.
- Show your personality
People want to have a personal connection with your brand. They want to know that there are actual people who exist behind your company’s logo. There are various ways that you can achieve this. Sharing live videos of your team working or answering your customer’s questions live is a great way to achieving this. This way, people connect with your brand on a more personal level.
In this day and age, there’s no denying that social media plays a very vital role in the success or failure of a business and its SEO strategy. You do it right, and you will enjoy the benefits of it.
As you start working on being more active on your social media channels, remember that you need to use clean tactics that will help boost your business and not get it penalised. Everyone is on social media. Position your brand, products or services to the right people, with the right SEO strategy and you will never look back.