I recently tasked one of our interns, Adam Lang, to write how SEO and social media were intertwined. I thought his response was very well done and am posting his reply in it’s entirety on our blog.
Making the most out of Social Media… The Intertwining of Social Media and SEO
If I told you that a small company trying to rank higher in the SERPS than that of a competitor who is three times the size would be much more difficult, you would probably agree with me. Now what if I told you that the smaller company spent a little more time doing some keyword researching and applying some other on-page search engine optimization techniques to their website, while the much larger company just sat back and only had a basic website? Before you decide, take that a step further and combine the efforts of the on-page SEO with some off-page SEO such as integrating social media tactics and the small company with a few employees now looks as if they were the much larger company.
Social media transforms people from content consumers to content producers. It encourages participation: sharing, voting, commenting and linking. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking.
SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. With the rise of Facebook, Twitter and other new medians of social media it is much easier to share viral information with your network. Reading a blog or seeing an interesting tweet and then retweeting it or linking it into your newsfeed increases that blogs’ chance of getting viewed substantially.
Combining search engine optimization with social media tactics can be greatly beneficial for the underdog. Making an effort in this can increase the discovery of your company in the social networks while also improving SEO by attracting links. Another example of this is when a customer is looking to buy a product physically at a store they are most likely going to stop by the larger store first. Now take that concept and apply it to a search engine and the company that shows up first and more so in the search rankings the more robust and reputable that company looks and the more likely it will have at obtaining that customer.
When writing blog or other social media content it is important to follow some of the same rules that apply to websites in terms of SEO.
- Editing the content to increase its relevance to specific keywords
- Optimizing the media such as the images, videos, etc.
- Removing probable barriers to the indexing activities of search engines
- Obtaining back links and inbound links from social media mentions
- Linking back to the company website for a smooth transition to key pages throughout the company website
- Keyword- rich anchor text
- Use social bookmarking sites like Digg and Stumbleupon to increase natural and influential inbound links while your social content goes viral.
- Create and optimize micro sites to use as hubs for specific social media campaigns.
- Create and optimize social media assets (Blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc) along with your website to ensure that you are taking up most of the space on the first page of the search.
- Tweets, retweets, and “likes” are having their effect on linking patterns and the SERPs that bring readers to blogs
- Follow others on Twitter, @ reply them, and retweet so there is a mutual engagement.
- Add applications within your blog to make it easy to share between various social bookmarking or networking sites
Intertwining SEO with social media cannot only help increase the page views of your blog or such but as well extend the value of your time and investment. With time that smaller company will look bigger than the company three times the size and will appear more in the search results. All of this effort will ultimately improve the traffic back to your website resulting in more sales.