Social media is quickly becoming a major player in search engine optimization. We’ve explained how it works, and how it affects your business. As the web evolves, social media is positioned to become even more important. Soon, there may not be a definitive division between social and non-social interactions online. The fact is, social media is the key to digital marketing efforts. What does this mean for your business? It means that you don’t have time to question whether you should be on social media. With social media beginning to affect your search engine ranking, you need to embrace it. It is not always clear to marketers and business owners how social media impacts search engine optimization. Therefore, tyring to align your efforts can be challenging. SEO is no longer focused on keywords and inbound website links. Search engines are now looking at social signals from Facebook, Google+, Twitter and others to validate credibility. We expect search engines to increase their reliance on social signals as the social web evolves. With these social signals playing a bigger role, it’s time to address how you can be more social with SEO in mind. Here are some tips:
1. Publish Quality Content
Content continues to be an important part of any SEO strategy. But quality over quantity is important. Google continues to push for quality. Search engines do not want repeat content that is cut and pasted from another website, or “guest” posts that are published on multiple websites. Remember, your content cannot only be focused on SEO. Incorporating as many SEO keywords as possible will not keep your readers’ attention and it will hurt your rankings as Google is smart and they know when you are “stuffing” keywords into your content. You need to write for your audience and include keywords smoothly. It’s both an art and a science.
You want your content to be shared. Make it easy for people to share it by incorporating social share buttons on your blog. You want to make sure your share buttons are set to include your company name, URL and hashtags. This is part of what search engines are looking for with social signals. Looking to create your own buttons? Each social media platform allows you to create your own buttons and install the code on your website The best approach is hardcoding, which will make your pages load faster. If you are on a tighter budget and using WordPress, there are some great plugins that can make social sharing rather simple. Our favorites are Share This and Shareaholic.
3. Optimize Images
Optimizing your images on social media channels and on your blog is an important and powerful SEO approach that most people miss. On your blog, that means using keywords to fill in metadata, title and alternative title. On social media channels, optimize the photos you load with keywords, hashtags and URLs and/or information about the photo. This comes back to the art and science of SEO writing. You don’t want photos to seem focused on SEO, but you can often write a description that includes SEO elements. Keep this in mind each time you post a photo.
4. Google Authorship
Google Authorship is an essential part of your social and blog SEO. It will add credibility to your content. If you have multiple authors, setup each of them on your blog with authorship. You can read more about this process here.