Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has been a buzzword for many years now that the internet has become the dominant space for developing your business, your brand, and leveraging your audience and customers. Having your finger on the pulse of the topics your customers are talking about is so important to reaching them when they need your products and services!
These days it’s not just about using one keyword for SEO, but having keyword phrases and making sure you use these effectively on your website, blogs and your social media messaging. Ultimately, customers are not only using Google, Bing, or Yahoo to seek out and research companies; many are browsing their favorite social media platforms to check out your presence, followers, likes, and content. This is why it’s so important to have not only a strong online presence, but to actively engage with your chosen social media platforms where your ideal audience loves to play and hang out.
Today, links to your business are mainly achieved through developing original content that is in turn shared across social media channels. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and other social networks help search engines understand which websites are credible and should be ranked for certain keyword phrases.
Here are 10 Things You Need to Know!
- Get Your Social Channels Organized
Before you start creating your SEO and social media content strategy, double check that your social media channels are well branded with the same company name, imagery, and that all the details of your profile are filled out with the correct information. Make sure to ALWAYS be listed with Google+! After paid advertising, this is what shows up first when people are looking for products and services in your geographic locations, and Google rewards you for being a part of their community. Be sure your @companyname and #companyname work when creating your messaging online. Next, check that the links on your website match and work properly across each of your social media channels. (Note: Understanding your audience and which social channels they visit the most can help you focus on the top channels when distributing your content.)
- Know Your Keywords and Keyword Phrases
Google AdWords Tools is one of the best ways to find out which keywords and keyword phrases your customers are searching. Use these tools to research the types of products and services you are delivering, but be sure to also take a hard look at keywords for the pains and problems you solve and benefits that you offer because these are often the words and phrases that people search first! Here’s a link on how to use the Google Keyword Planner effectively. (Note: You need to have a Google account to access these tools, and if you decide to work with a marketing/website development team they will tell you how well your site shows up for each of the most important keywords relevant to your location and other factors.) https://adwords.google.com/home/resources/using-google-adwords-keyword-planner.html#?modal_active=none
- Create Compelling Content
Understanding your buyer’s journey can help you create relevant content at each stage. The “Awareness” stage should be filled with tips and educational resources about how your products and services solve problems and the benefits they provide to your customers. The main goal in this stage is to get new prospects to a page where there is a call-to-action and some free gift, download, or item that will be interesting enough for them provide their email address so you can start nurturing them into the next stage. Photos, video, quotes, interesting questions, and contests are excellent ways to engage and have some fun entertaining your audience. For those in the second or “Consideration” stage, it’s important to focus on your company’s initiatives, events, and other campaigns with the goal of getting these people into the third or “Decision” stage of your sales process. Always be mindful to ensure that your content connects with your company’s values, that your facts are correct with no grammatical errors, and to include your keyword phrases and location.
- Growing Your Follower Count Will Boost Your SEO Efforts
Followers and connections on your social media profiles have a significant influence on your search engine rankings. A company with a hundred Twitter followers won’t get the ranking bonus of a mega-corporation with a million Facebook likes and a million Twitter followers. Bear in mind, Google can detect the quality of your followers, meaning that buying 100,000 proxy Twitter followers isn’t going to do much for your overall rankings. Instead, you’ll need to build your following organically with consistent high-quality content: use the same voice across your updates, provide helpful articles and tips, and include some inquiries to generate engagement with your customers. The key to building and retaining a sizable, interactive following is direct customer engagement. This helps build your authority for new potential followers.
- Encourage External Inbound Links
The more diverse external links you have, the more authority you’ll gain in Google’s eyes. Your content is going to serve as bait and your social media channels are going to serve as fishing poles, putting the bait in front of the right eyes. Be sure to use hashtags (#relevanttopic, #companyname, #keywordphrase) to gain visibility for your initial rounds of syndication, and don’t hesitate to bring your content into existing threads and discussions. This improves your social reputation as an authoritative leader and will maximize your potential external link sources.Get Your SEO & Social Media Content Guide and Worksheet
- Optimize Your Posts for Searches/SEO
Images and short videos are critical to capture attention quickly, but be sure to name these files with your keywords, keyword phrases, and location or company name. Popular social media updates are great in the eyes of Google. When posting to your social media channels, use words strategically, include hashtags (of course), and link to your main article, landing pages, or contact information. Optimize your posts for a specific type of search. For example, if your customer has a specific pain or problem, starting with a question (e.g., “looking for X solution?”) – this can be a great way to catch people’s attention.
- Encourage Social Sharing
Running contests where you encourage social sharing is a great way to boost your network and get verifiable external source validation to your brand or content. If you can get five people to share your Facebook post that’s great, but if you can get 1000 then that’s even better! Likes, shares, favorites, replies/comments, and retweets all count towards increasing your authority. These strategies will help your profiles gain momentum too.
- Social Media Profiles Rank in Search Engines
Social media channels can feel more personal than webpages, and they’re a great way to get a sense of a company’s personality off the bat. Many times I’ll check out a company on Facebook or Twitter to see what kind of following they have and some of their feed for the topics that they talk about. Often a company’s social media profile will show up as a top result on a Google search, and I’m more likely to visit that first before checking out their main website. Basically, it’s critical for you to understand which social media channels your ideal clients like to hang out in and make sure you have a strong presence on those platforms.
- Know How to Track Engagement
Setting up Google Analytics is a critical part of being able to see which keywords, keyword phrases, and social media platforms are getting you the most traffic to your site. Looking at these stats on a regular basis, as well as which of your posts are getting the most engagement, can help you optimize and connect with your audience and give them more of what they want. There are some great social media schedulers and trackers out there. Here’s an article comparing some of them that you may like: https://eclincher.com/blog/social-media-management-marketing-tools/
- Get More High-Quality Backlinks
A backlink is when one website mentions another website and links to it. They help Google determine what is good and useful out there. Ultimately, you want big brands or high online authorities that are related to your business mentioning your website, blogs, and social media within their own content. Strategically, this is where creating joint ventures with like-minded companies can serve you well. Learn more about backlinks here: https://www.theedesign.com/blog/2016/what-are-backlinks-seo
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