A business or website trying to stay competitive needs an excellent social media strategy. But while social media is crucial to giving your website visibility and access to your client base, it may not be as directly helpful for your SEO strategy as you might imagine. That’s why it’s so important to understand the role social media plays in online marketing and how best to leverage it without assuming it works just like your SEO score.
Social media contributes to your online visibility in a different way than straightforward SEO does. While typical SEO relies on keywords, website coding, search intent, and related qualifiers, social media relies more on authority and direct interactions from your customer base. Let’s take a closer look at how social media optimization works and how you can best take advantage of it.
Google’s Relationship with Social Media
In 2014, Google announced that it did not consider social media interactions (likes, reactions, etc.) when ranking content. However, since Google’s crawlers treat social media sites like Facebook the same as other websites, any links posted on social media count as backlinks. Let’s put this in perspective. If you posted a blog article to your business’s Facebook page and it received hundreds of likes but only two users shared it, Google wouldn’t give you a lot of credit for that post. On the other hand, the more shares your content gets on social media, the more backlinks Google recognizes and the better your SEO score will be.
How to Optimize Your Social Media
If social media engagement doesn’t affect your SEO ranking, how can you make sure your investment in social media is giving you the return you want? The solution lies in how you promote your content. Don’t just hit post and cross your fingers! Spring for a paid social promotion to get your posts in front of a larger audience and encourage more shares. Save evergreen content to post repeatedly. There are certainly plenty of effective ways to earn more social media shares and help your website in the process! See which one works best for your content strategy.
Pro Tip: How many of your followers mention your brand positively in their social media posts? Google counts those posts in your favor! Encourage your fans to talk about your brand on their profiles.
What Not to Do
For now, Google doesn’t give much (if any) attention to post engagement for ranking content. However, the standards have shifted in the past. Google has used likes to determine a particular page’s ranking before. As you focus on producing good content for shares and backlinking, don’t neglect the other aspects of social media! SEO is a constantly shifting playing field, and it’s more than possible that Google will begin looking at likes and reactions again in the future. It’s best to be prepared for the near-inevitable shift.
Improving Your Social Media Strategy
Digital marketing relies on many different strategies for success. Whether you’re writing a blog post or tagging someone in a picture on Facebook, you’re providing a way for Google and other search engines to give you more visibility online. Take the time to reexamine your habits and see if the choices you’re making are truly helping you.
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