Social Media and SEO: The Dynamic Duo of Ranking

Social media works hand in hand with search engine optimization, helping to develop trust and authority. Social signals show relevancy to search engines and solidify branding. Join our social media experts Samantha and Adrianne as they discuss how using social media helps create a well-rounded content strategy. We’ve included the transcript of the video for your reading convenience.

Sam: Hi everyone! This is Samantha and Adrianne from the Volusion Marketing Services team. Today we are going to be talking about how social media works hand in hand with SEO…because let’s face it, this is one of the greatest pairings ever discovered. Like peanut butter and jelly. Chips and queso! Even wine and cheese. And when developing a dynamic digital marketing campaign, it’s important to consider multiple avenues for promotion. So, while SEO can prepare your website for greater search visibility, social media allows you to expand your digital reach even further. This tag team forms a unique cycle that can really kick start your marketing. So let’s get started with today’s agenda.

First we’re going to give you a little background about why social media works hand in hand with SEO, and then we will dive into which social media tactics help your SEO efforts.

Next we will discuss all the factors that matter when it comes to SEO, and then we will close with 5 steps you can do to help boost your SEO efforts on social media.

So let’s get down to the specifics. Why IS social media good for SEO? Well, first things first, social media can positively increase your website authority with the great and powerful Google. Search engines, like Google, take your social standing into account when they rank your page because they value websites that have a large, high-quality social media audience. Having a large following with active, real users shows search engines AND potential shoppers that you have an authoritative presence in the industry and your audience is aware of your brand. And when it comes down to it, search engines just want to point searchers to the best possible search result. What could be better than having a ton of social media fans that love your brand?

Adrianne: Sure, social media can be a huge part of increasing brand awareness and authority, but it’s also often used as an integral aspect of a well-rounded content strategy. Writing killer content is a huge part of SEO and social media can help you share that content with relevant people. As the content gets shared all over the social stratosphere, more people and potential shoppers will be exposed to your brand. This content should help drive traffic to your website and create buzz around your brand! I mean most of the time when I go on social media, I use it as a platform for discovery. I’m always finding some cool blog or article from a brand and clicking on a link to find out more about a specific brand. So sharing blogs and other types of content is super important and can boost your SEO efforts.

Now that we’ve established that social media and SEO are quite the dynamic duo, we will dive into the social media tactics that work best with SEO.

Sam: There are several social media tactics that you can use to help boost your SEO through the factors we just discussed, whether that’s through increasing your brand awareness or driving traffic to your store.

If you have a blog, definitely be sure to share your articles on your social platforms. The most standard places to post your blogs are Facebook and Twitter, but don’t think these are your only options. If you’ve written a blog about fashion, crafts, DIY projects, or cooking, Pinterest is a great option for you. Create a catchy image to go along with the post, since Pinterest is a very visual platform.

Adrianne: You can also share links to your products or categories to drum up interest in your products, but do it in a way that will catch the eye of your customers. Don’t just post a link to your site without any context; you’re not going to capture any traffic that way. Add a comment about the products and why they’d be great for your customers, and include a high-quality picture, which will increase the likelihood you’ll get some clicks. Most social media platforms are visually-driven, so having good pictures is essential.

Posting your own blogs and links back to your site is part of that content strategy we mentioned earlier. However, avoid making all of your posts self-serving. Yes, you want to get traffic back to your site, but if you give your customers an overload on one particular thing, they’re less likely to pay attention to future posts. Change things up and make your profiles a fun and interesting place to visit! Share videos or links from other brands in the industry to keep users engaged.

Sam: You also need to spend some time optimizing your bio section, or the about us section. Give a very clear description of your business. How would you describe what you sell to someone who has never heard of your products? Keep in mind several platforms have cutoffs and character limits for the length of your description, so you need to be able to talk about your business in a sentence or two. Try adding in keywords as well. Search engines can crawl your social bios, so make sure that these sections are optimized with key descriptive phrases.

So, how do you keep track of your success once you’ve started marketing your content? We’re huge fans of Google Analytics. There’s an entire section dedicated to traffic that comes to your site from social media platforms, and if you have ecommerce tracking set up, you’ll be able to see where your site visitors are coming from, how long they stay on the site, and whether or not they are converting. This can help you decide which platforms are most valuable to you, or if you need to try some different strategies.

Adrianne: Now, let’s talk about some of the factors that search engines look at when they determine a site’s relevancy and authority. It won’t surprise you to hear that they look at engagement factors with your posts and your profiles, such as likes, mentions, retweets, shares, etc. This is why it’s important to craft great posts that people will share or interact with. Contests and giveaways, for example, are historically one of the best ways to get people talking about your business. Asking questions can also encourage people to engage with your posts. If you sell clothing, for example, you might ask your customers what accessories they would pair with one of your outfits.

Reviews are also an indication that people are interacting with your social profiles, and are especially important for brick-and-mortars. While “buying” or offering a discount for a positive review is frowned upon, you can certainly ask your happy customers to leave you a review, especially if they have purchased a product recently. If you receive any negative reviews, it’s not the end of the world—make sure you follow up with a response on how you will fix the situation, as this will create brand trust.

Sam: Another factor search engines will look at is if your profile has growth in followers. A steady increase in relevant followers shows the search engines that more people are becoming interested in your business. That’s a great indication that your brand is authoritative in your industry. However, we do want to caution you not to buy followers. Customers can tell when someone has an inflated, fake following, and they don’t appreciate the deceit. Search engines can also easily tell what a fake or spammy profile looks like and they will ignore your profiles as a result. If you do everything by the book, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Adrianne: So we’ve gone over why Social media and SEO make an awesome team and explained which factors and tactics are most important. Now, we’re going to give you some homework. Here are five crucial things you can do to support your SEO efforts with social media.

First, optimize those social profiles. We spoke about this before, but make sure you’re filling out all your About Us sections and bios properly. Include keywords in the descriptions to make sure search engines can index your page with relevant searches. Add as much information as possible, this includes your website link and address if you also have a brick-and-mortar.

Second, publish and post high-quality content. Sure, we know you want to promote your products and your website, but make sure you’re also sharing your blogs or other pieces of content that your social media audience would want to see.

Sam: Third, be sure to add social sharing buttons to your online store. Make it easy for shoppers to share your products on Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest by adding share buttons to your products. Volusion conveniently already has this feature conveniently integrated into its software. Store owners need only enable this by going to the Marketing tab from the Volusion Dashboard and then hitting Social to turn on Social media posting options.

Fourth, optimize your images on your social pages. Images are sometimes a forgotten piece of SEO, but they do hold a significant amount of weight in the search. Obviously users are attracted to great images. Ensuring your profile photos, logos, and cover photos are high-quality, not blurry, and eye-catching is crucial to success.

And lastly, build out social media ad campaigns for page likes on Facebook or engagement on other networks like Pinterest. This helps to increase that page authority and brand awareness that we were talking about before.

Adrianne: Well, there you have it! All you need to know about how Social Media works hand in hand with SEO. We highly recommend running a social campaign in conjunction with your SEO campaign or vice versa. Because of this, Volusion is offering a free setup with the purchase of a 3 month prepaid or 6-month social media marketing package [in 2016]. Check out our website for more details, and don’t forget to follow us on our social channels!