When you think about it, your website is a lot like a teenager. It wants to get out and socialize, spreading its message with everyone and anyone that it can. For the grunge teenager of the 90s, SEO would be the pink hair, the tattered jeans and Nirvana t-shirt, the chain and wallet and vans shoes. Categories, trends, topics, concepts, big picture message; this is what the Google crawlers try to capture when they index your site.
We have already discussed essential SEO practices here – but did you know that social media also plays an important role in boosting your search rankings?
Google Likes Your Twitter
Search engine algorithms are always changing, and in recent years they’ve started factoring social media data into their results. For an abridged version on how search results are returned, check out Google’s explanation “from algorithms to answers.” By rule of the trade, a magician never reveals a trick, and likewise Google does not explicitly reveal how its algorithm finds the right page from a 100 billion GB index.
From time to time, however pieces and clues are revealed. From what we can gather from data analytics, there are a number ways in which social media can boost your page rank. First, if you have a consistent and voluminous following, your website might be given a similar weight. Working and developing your social media audience too will ultimately drive traffic to your site, depending on the nature of your posts. Here are some more suggestions to get your social game going.
Solid Social SEO Strategies
- Go Organic- It’s important that you build your social media accounts naturally. There are sites selling Facebook likes or Twitter followers, but this solution is a trap door. Most of those followers will be found and deleted by the respective social media platforms, costing you money and credibility. There are also sites that monitor whether social media accounts have legit followers. You can bet that search engines have similar tools, and will adjust your ranking if you’re caught.
- Optimize Posts for Searches- You can structure posts to be search friendly, especially if you tailor for long-form search phrases. These are used by search engines and will direct readers to your page when the term is returned.
- Make it Easy to Share- When you write your next great article, you should make it as easy as possible to share it. Install social buttons that allow readers to share the content with their friends and colleagues.
- Be Consistent- Whether you’re running a standard web page or a social media page, you need to be consistent in keeping it up to date. Make sure you’re posting to each platform on a regular basis. It shows that your page is still active, which is key to maintaining good rankings in search engines.
Bad SEO Strategies
Don’t Follow Old Trends- What worked in 2011 won’t necessarily work today. So make sure you’re not #hashtagging #everything #you #can in a social media post. Seriously, don’t. It’s annoying and will drive people away.
Don’t Post 30 Times A Day- While maintaining a consistent posting schedule for social media is important, you shouldn’t post all the time. Marketing group HubSpot found that pages with less than 10,000 followers on Facebook that post more than 60 times a month get substantially fewer clicks than pages that post infrequently. So what does this mean? Well, if you don’t have a ton of followers, don’t spend all day posting. It’s as simple as that.
Don’t Leave Out Information- Search engines crawlers scan, categorize, and organize information. If you have a Facebook page (or other social media page), make sure to fill in as much info as possible. List store hours, your website, your address, and phone number. Google reads this and puts the information into search results. There are many sites that leave this information out.
Keeping an Eye on the Future
Stay informed. A few years ago Google’s Matt Cutts was recorded in a video as saying that social media sites did not play into SEO rankings. Whether it did then is up for debate… but it most certainly does now.
We recommend you find a reputable site for keeping up with SEO news like Moz or Yoast (we use Yoast). Of course, if you don’t feel up to the task Den Web Design also does offer services to get your site and social media game on point. We have years of experience and can help maintain a consistent and organic growth schedule for your site.
Regardless of what you choose, it’s clear that social media and SEO are tied together, and it’s important that you follow solid practices to optimize both to get the most from all search engines out there.