Social media and how it relates to search rank has long been a bit of a muddy subject. While social media marketing may not directly impact search results, it's undeniable that your social media presence can help you rank higher in searches. In this post I'll review a few tactics that can help you improve your search rank using social media.
Like social media marketing itself, social SEO is more of a marathon than a sprint to high search rank. Although links in your published posts don't help you rank higher on search engines, your overall social media presence has a bearing on how your content in ranked. Individual social media profiles and posts rank for search, bringing more visibility to your brand's networks.
Social SEO is also not just about Google. Social networks are becoming search engines themselves - more than two billion searches are conducted on Facebook every day. This means ranking higher when customers search for particular content within a social media network can also provide a big boost to your brand or business.
Here are 8 ways to improve your search rank with social media
1. Optimize Your Profiles and Copy for Keyword Searches
One of the most important things you can do for improved search rank is to optimize your social network info sections and captions with your industry keywords. While links within your own posts won't directly count towards your website ranking, discoverability on the social networks you are active on is still important. Getting your content in front of the right eyes can get you in blog posts, help you gain engaged followers and in the end help you rank higher in search.
Searches within social media networks rely on keyword strength. Figure out which keywords you want to rank for and work them into your bio and the messaging you post along with content. Remember to use industry relevant hashtags and to hashtag your keywords where possible.
As mentioned earlier, individual posts on some networks are indexed by Google. Using keywords within your content can help your posts appear in search results independently from your website.
2. Work Backwards to Create Content
Working backwards is a great tactic to create content your audience will interact with and share. Again, figure out what the keywords you want to rank for are, then create content centrally based around the keywords.
3. Create Valuable Content Your Audience Will Share
I know this tip is a little boring, but don't just post something for the sake of posting. Creating valuable content that offers a unique perspective is key in getting your audience to share. Solve a pain point, or surprise and delight - the bottom line is to create content that appeals to your target audience and adds value.
4. Use Power Words" in Your Messaging to Increase Shares
Increasing shares will help with authority. So what are these little gems we call 'power words'? They're words that cause the reader to relate to an emotion, and/or trigger action. In social media (and marketing in general), short attention spans, and character limits force us to choose our words wisely, so with just a pinch more thought, you can create messaging that may help content generate more impact.
Power words aren't just for ad copy - they're important in emails, headlines, landing pages, buttons, pop-ups and basically anywhere you need your audience to take action.
Learn more about power words and get two of my favorite power words resources read: How to Increase Conversions Using Power Words in Your Social Media Marketing
5. Don't Forget Your Call to Action
When promoting a blog post, landing page, white paper etc. make sure to include a clear call to action. Your audience needs to be told or asked about what you want them to do.
Use calls to actions (CTAs) such as "share this post", "leave a comment", or "click this link" to get your visitors take the action you need.
With that said, don't include CTA's in all, or even half your posts - you'll look spammy and pushy (and no one likes a push over), therefore affecting your click through rate. I suggest the 80/20 rule, meaning 20% of your posts should include a convincing call to action, while the other 80% should just be great content.
6. Figure Out Your Ideal Word Count
Your character count could be affecting your click-through rate, and low click-throughs mean less authority and subsequent search rank.
Each social media network has its own language and set of rules, so the ideal post length varies from platform to platform, and of course account to account. Luckily two of my favorite resources, Buffer and SumAll, have teamed up and analyzed their data to create "The Internet is a Zoo" infographic which outlines the perfect length of social media posts for each network, hashtags, headlines and more.
Use the chart below as a guideline, but test different post lengths on your accounts to get an accurate view of what works for you.
Check out the full infographic and learn more about power words: Size Matters When It Comes to Post Length
8. Don't Overlook Google +
Google+ is a misunderstood social media network. One of the biggest benefits to Google+is that it can influence your search rankings. Being active here increases the chance of your business' posts getting seen. If someone follows your business and conducts a search on Google, if your posts have relevant words included, your posts will be at the top of the search results. Google+ posts are almost immediately indexed.
My bonus tip this week is to post consistently on your networks. You'll have to test to find your ideal post frequency, but consistency will help build and grow your brand on social media.
The key to using social media to help you rank higher in searches is to drive traffic and click-throughs from your social media networks to your website, and getting your content reposted or blogged to drive backlinks to your site and social profiles. It seems like a vicious circle, no? Keep building your "social authority" (your followers and engagement) to help you rank a little higher in search.
This post originally appeared on Dhariana Lozano's blog