When I started working in social media (just a mere two years ago) I had no idea what SEO was – and I’m embarrassed to admit it, but alas it is now off my chest!
My focus was on social, but today, SEO has become a regular part of my job. My focus has shifted to include SEO and how it works with our social media efforts.
Companies have regarded search engine marketing and social media as two separate things, but now the lines are blurred. I like how Lee Odden puts it, “if social media and SEO fit together like peanut butter and jelly (if you didn’t know, yes they do) then content is the bread that holds them together.”
How Social Media Affects SEO
SEO is about optimizing content to appear higher in search rankings. It could be on your website or on your blog, and in social media.
Social media values are becoming more influential as companies try to earn better search results. Search engines now use social values, or retweets, Facebook likes and shares, and Google+1s, to help determine organic search rankings.
The bottom line is integration. When you integrate SEO and social, you’ll boost your search engine relevancy.
How to Integrate SEO and Social
Integrating social and SEO “starts with a good content strategy, which coordinates your marketing and content efforts into one cohesive plan, and is supported by engaging your social media audiences rather than only pushing your content on them,” said Jayson Demers in a Huffington Post article.
Besides a content strategy, you also need an active social media presence, links from your website to your social profiles and vice versa, and social share buttons on your website or blog so people can share your content easily.
Here are some other tips:
- Look at what keywords drive traffic to your website so you can create content that targets them. Use free tools from Google to do some basic keyword research. Odden suggests to create a “keyword glossary” or a list of keywords and long-tail keyword phrases.
- Determine your social keywords. This isn’t as easy as regular keyword research and takes more work from you, but it’s worth it. Use free tools such as SocialMention, “that offer a social search function which provides a list of keywords most often found in tweets, comments and other social content based on your query,” Odden adds. Then of course, add these to your keyword glossary.
- Look at which social posts are most popular so you can begin to create content your audience wants to engage with. Use free tools such as Facebook Insights and Buffer, or paid tools like Social Bro.
- Maintain your social presence. Share content daily – how many times a day and at what times will depend on your industry. Keep in mind: Your social profiles are about you AND your audience, so it’s important to share other people’s work too.
SEO and social are places for creating content. They are both used to build awareness, engage with customers and prospects, and drive leads. To integrate them you need to create content that fits how people are searching for your company, then share or “socialize” that content across your social media networks.
The key to integrating SEO and social is to optimize for people, not search engines.
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