Leverage Social Media in SEO Strategy

Tom Shurville
Tom Shurville Managing Director, Distinctly Digital

Posted on March 6th 2013

Leverage Social Media in SEO Strategy

ImageIn the world of online marketing, there are two main things that every website owner is desperately trying to do. The first is to increase their ranking on search engines through SEO. The second is to create a social media presence and get customers and potential customers talking about them.

However in actual fact, these two things should be combined together instead of exclusively as in reality, social media can help to increase search engine presence. In this article we define exactly what SEO and social media marketing are and then look at how they can work together to produce a combined strategy.

What is SEO?
For those that don’t know what SEO is, the term stands for search engine optimisation. This is a practice whereby you alter the way your website looks, works and reads in order to be indexed and ranked by the search engines. On a regular basis, the major search engines such as Google and Yahoo send out pieces of software known as search spiders which look at tags and text within websites to determine exactly what a website is about.

The search engines then use this information to provide searchers with relevant search results. Search engine optimisation is the process by which you add content to a website in order to help increase its search visibility. Buzz words you will regularly hear within the industry and by website owners are keywords and tags.

What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is, in a nut shell, gaining traffic or brand presence by utilising the social networks on the internet. The most commonly used social media websites are Facebook, Twitter and Google+ others include Pinterest and LinkedIn. These can be used to provide customers and potential customers with news and special offers or to obtain visitor interactions through competitions and other methods.

How Can Social Media Leverage SEO?
The most important question then is how can a social media marketing plan help your general SEO strategy? The answer is simple – by generating inbound links. One of the Holy Grail elements of SEO is to gain in-bound links for your website. This is where a third party website provides visitors with a link to your website. Search engines deem this type of activity as favourable as in-bound links are seen as a form of endorsing a website in most cases. By adding a link to another website, on your webpage basically says ‘you might find this website interesting too’. 

As social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are large players in the online arena, search engines love the links generated by them, especially as links can be shared with friends and go viral in some instances. By getting your website address out into the social media stratosphere you are basically advertising to your customer base, but without having to spend money on advertising.

Social media activities are also a great way to gain new, fresh web content for your website - another element that search engines love, especially if it includes all your keywords.

So in order to try and get that all-important top position on search engine rankings, a combined social media and SEO strategy is paramount.

image: seo/shutterstock

Tom Shurville

Tom Shurville

Managing Director, Distinctly Digital

Tom Shurville is the Managing Director of Distinctly Digital, a search marketing agency based in Rickmansworth, UK. Distinctly Digital combines technical savvy with creative flair and is adept at creating search marketing strategies that get results. Find Tom on Google+.

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Comments

chatmeter
Posted on March 6th 2013 at 2:22PM

Great points! We mostly use our social meida to get new content linked back to our site. We recently switched things up a little bit and saw a definate jump in SEO directed back to our main page. 

Kent Ong
Posted on March 6th 2013 at 11:54PM

I believe Google+ is one of the most important social media platform for our SEO.

codazoda
Posted on May 16th 2013 at 5:12PM

I wonder if Google+ seems like a good network because Google has direct access to it.

If you were Facebook, would you be sharing information with Google about how many people shared a particular link? Is that information easy for Google to get at? Doesn't seem like it would be too easy, unless there are agreements. Google+ is different though. Google has unfettered access to that.

Stevenwinshely
Posted on July 17th 2013 at 3:35AM

For me Facebook is more effective platform to promote your business. Why I am pointing only Facebook because when I collect the data from different sources and analyze everything that time I come to know that People are spending good time on Facebook. And the best thing about Facebook is it does not have a language barrier. They have multilingual boards which perform very well in many countries. If you closely see the user engagement time, the people are using Facebook for chatting, sharing real time photos, news, free games, question and answer board, communities and for much other stuff. It is for everyone. That's the reason why I am recommending using Facebook for your social media and SEO needs.