Most businesses and online marketers are aware of the benefits of conducting social media campaigns alongside their own website marketing strategies. But did you know that your social media efforts can also have a significant impact on your SEO campaign?
The growth of social signals – In recent years the use of social signals as a factor affecting organic search results has been much discussed and debated. At the end of last year, Google’s Matt Cutts even went so far as to confirm that the search giant was referencing social signals from networks such as Facebook and Twitter to compile its search results.
The exact nature of what specific social signals are used and the strength of influence that they convey remain subjects of speculation and research amongst the SEO fraternity. But the fact is that it makes perfect sense for the big search engines such as Google and Bing to incorporate the social world into their ranking systems. They’re trying to find content for users which is not just relevant to queries, but also authoritative, high quality and useful. Social signals such as how many likes a page has received clearly have a key role to play in this.
Research conducted in 2012 by Searchmetrics looked at correlations between a number of social signals and higher rankings on Google. It found that Facebook ‘shares’ had a strong correlation factor (0.35) and therefore a strong influence on whether a page ranks highly. Tweets were also found to correlate significantly (0.24).
These two social networking giants are far from the only games in town though, and how much your content is shared on other social sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon undoubtedly has an effect too.
Using keywords in your social media activities – When conducting your social media campaign you should carry over some of your SEO copywriting techniques, particularly the use of keywords in your social content. More specifically you should use keywords that match your overall SEO strategy. This will help you to build a coherent picture of your brand for the search engines across your website and social media activities.
Having your SEO copywriter create interesting, shareable content to be posted on social media sites is a great way of generating extra traffic and the use of your primary keywords may enhance your relevancy scores with the search engines.
Google+ Authorship and the advent of Google’s Author Rank – Google has drawn social media and SEO closer together in recent years with its introduction of Google+ authorship, which enables online content to be linked to a Google+ profile. This in turn allows you to build up a body of content that can mark you out as an authority in your field and can benefit both sides of your strategy.
Another upcoming addition to the blurring boundary of social media and search engine optimisation is Google’s ‘Author Rank’. Expected to come into play at some point in 2013, Author Rank will mean that the online reputation of an author profile will have an influence in the search engine rankings.
The influence that social media has on SEO looks set to grow significantly over the next few years, and those who fail to recognise that fact may find themselves left behind.
Thanks to Derryck Strachan – Derryck is a highly experienced SEO copywriter who runs Big Star Copywriting, a leading UK copywriting agency. They have helped dozens of brands build their online businesses through content. You can read more copywriting posts from Derryck at bigstarcopywriting.com/blog.