7 practical tips for using social media to improve your SEO

Max Doyle

March 4, 2014

Max Doyle

March 4, 2014

Is ranking well on search engines like Google important for your business? Are you courting the Google bots but not getting much love? Social media plays an important role in increasing search engine rankings results. This post will outline some key aspects to consider when using social media for SEO purposes.

At Hello Social we’re schooled in the dark arts of spider seduction. We know how to keep them crawling back. SEO is an ongoing process – not a one-off job. Here are seven practical tips to increase your ranking with search engines through social media channels.

#1 Optimise your social media presence

Social Media SEO Tip 1

The launch of Google’s latest update, Hummingbird, in August 2013 meant that social media is now vital for increasing your Google ranking. Your activity on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, even LinkedIn, now registers as a positive signal to Google and increases your website’s relevance.

Google sees +1s (Google Plus), likes, shares, comments, tweets, re-tweets, pins, and re-pins as indicators of relevant content. These are called “Social Signals”. Social signals count as back links – the more interaction your social media platforms get, the higher your pages will rank on search engines.

Have a look at your social media presence. You don’t have to be on everything ever invented, but Facebook and Google+ are pretty standard. Be strategic. Create a schedule and stick with it.

#2 Link back to your website through articles, blogs and the like

Social Media SEO Tip 2

Posting content on your social media that links back to your website optimises your social media presence for SEO. For this reason, traditional SEO budgets are now being used to promote a brand’s social media platforms.

Google likes content – the more the better, as long as it’s good. Keyword-heavy spammy content won’t wash. Think targeted primary keywords that communicate your message. Blogging once a week refreshes your website with engaging, original content. Then when you share these links through social media, your social signals boost your search engine ranking.

Link back to your product pages, home page or blog and feel the love.

#3 Don’t shorten your links with bitly, tinyurl etc

Social Media SEO Tip 3

Don’t get us wrong - changing a long url to a shorter one can be useful for the tracking, but to optimise SEO the link must be unchanged. If you use tinyurl or something similar in your Facebook posts and your engagement is out of sight, Google will rank tinyurl’s relevance as high… and you’ll be left out in the cold.

Keep your SEO juice for yourself. Link back to your website.

#4 Promote your post immediately

Social Media SEO Tip 4

So you’ve blogged and posted with links across all your social media platforms. Don’t wait to promote your post! Time means money (well, kind of) in the rankings business. The first 15 minutes after you post are vital for Edge Rank. They make or break the life of your post – and its reach.

So what’s Edge Rank? Edge Rank is an algorhythm that determines which content appears in your newsfeed. The more likes, shares and comments your post gets in those first 15 minutes, the longer your post will stay at the top of the newsfeed. The longer it’s at the top of the newsfeed, the more people will see and hopefully share it.

So post, hit promote! Immediately. And maximise your audience.

#5 Make it easy for fans to share

Social Media SEO Tip 5

When you’re posting articles and blogs, make it super-easy for people to share your post. Have your social share buttons in prime position. In addition to counting towards your relevance, shares represent a recommendation of your brand, expand your reach and increase your potential conversion rate.

#6 Optimise your About box and Page info

Social Media SEO Tip 6

The About text box allows you 250 characters to describe your business, but only the first 75 of those display on your wall. Use primary keywords to convey your message and don’t forget to link to your website. When fans click through to your website, your SEO gets a boost.

The Page info page gives you another opportunity to use keyword-dense prose to draw the crawlers.

#7 Get social – be dynamic, engaged and interactive

So, how do you leverage your social media to increase your social signals? If you want something, you have to ask for it.

Get active with your audience. The viral channel (newsfeed, invitations and messages) is perfect for sharing content. It’s an exciting place – things are happening in real time. You can get in front of the right people and chat about your business.

Sharing content that’s relevant to your industry (though not directly related to your brand) shows you’re engaged with your community. Ask questions. Create conversations. Be in the thick of it. Incentives and competitions using +1s, likes, shares and so on also work well.

As well as boosting your SEO, social links have the potential to bring new people to your website and your social media circle. From there it’s just one small step for them to become customers or content promoters.

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