It's tempting to consider social media and search engine optimization as separate marketing tactics. One seeks to engage your target audience on an external network, while the other attempts to draw them to your website.
And yet, the two are more closely related than you might think. In fact, used correctly, your social media marketing efforts can play a big role in increasing your search engine optimization. More specifically, here are 4 ways you can use social media to boost your SEO.
1. Build Your Link Profile
One of the biggest determining factors in how highly search engines like Google and Bing rank your website and its individual pages is how many external links lead to it. For search engines, links to your site are an indication of credibility, given that others find your content valuable enough to encourage their audience to visit it.
For your social media strategy, that means you can enhance your SEO efforts by increasing your link profile. Links to your website are counted, as are links that are shared by other users. High-quality content that is likely to be shared will overtime boost your search engine rankings.
2. Post with SEO in Mind
You may not realize it, but search engines actually scan and rank your social media profiles just as they do your website. In other words, you can not only rank your website highly, but get additional exposure through your page on Facebook, Twitter, or any other network as well.
To take advantage of this little-known fact, post updates that focus on keywords your audience is likely to see. Through a partnership with Twitter, Google now shows relevant tweets toward the top of its search results pages, but similar efforts on other networks can be successful as well.
3. Grow Your Followers
Growing your follower base is likely one of your major goals on social media anyways. But what you might not know is that in addition to improving your social profile, it also helps boost your search engine optimization efforts.
The process is indirect: more followers mean a larger audience for each update you make. That, in turn, means that your page will become more relevant for search engines (see point #2), and a larger number of social media users will share your content to improve your link profile (see point #1).
4. Post Local-Optimized Content
Particularly local marketers with physical locations can take advantage of the social media / SEO interplay. Posting about local events, and interacting with other local brands on your network of choice, can be beneficial for your local exposure in general and increase your social audience, directly influencing all of the above points.
In addition, you can create local listings that will increase your exposure on both search results pages and Google Maps. A Google+ profile, for example, enables you to showcase your brand and business along with its physical location to anyone who searches for relevant keywords in your immediate area. Considering the increasingly localized nature of storefront marketing, this can become a powerful tool for your business.
Connecting Your Social Media and SEO Efforts
In short, social media marketing and search engine optimization are far more closely connected than many marketers know. Through building links, posting search engine as well as locally optimized content, and growing your follower base, you can enhance your listing on search engine results pages significantly.
Considering the effectiveness and importance of both marketing channels, finding a way to connect both of them might just be the boost your brand needs to maximize its effectiveness and exposure online. That connection will pay dividends for both strategy, maximizing your success in digital marketing.