Improve your online footprint and search results with these SEO social strategy tips.
Matt Cutts, the head of Web Spam at Google said in a recent interview with Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land at the SMX Advanced 2012 Conference that in ten year’s time, social signals will be stronger but not to discount the value of quality links just yet in your SEO plans. However, this is a clear shout out to the web community that it’s time to get social. Here is how you can improve your SEO social strategy so you don’t get left behind.
So what are social signals?
A social signal similar to a backlink in that it is like a ‘vote’ for your website and validation that your website is an important part of the online community. Social signals can be anything from a ‘Google Plus 1’, Facebook ‘likes’, Twitter ‘followers’ or people sharing your content. But not all social signals are created equally; more weight will be carried by websites with more ‘social authority’ such as those written by industry experts.
The rise and fall of backlinks
Backlinks were always considered a strong signal in Google’s Search Engine algorithms to boost the Search Engine rankings of websites. But for a few years now industry experts have suggested that Google is reducing the importance of links and slowly but surely shifting its focus to citations and social signals, supplementing and perhaps one day replacing links as a quality signal for their ranking algorithm. The recent Panda and Penguin algorithm updates seem to support this.
How do I increase my social online footprint?
With your SEO social strategy, you have two main goals; to increase the ‘social authority’ of your networks with social influences and help your social pages rank better. The foundation of any online marketing campaign is to provide quality content that people find stimulating, engaging and want to share with their online community. Content can include blog articles, polls, survey results, infographics and interviews. Other ways to increase your social footprint include:
- Increasing social involvement by providing social media buttons on your website that make it easy for visitors to share your content.
- Making your content easily shareable on your other online spaces so people can incorporate them on their own site for example including embed codes for videos.
- Asking open ended questions of your audience to encouragement engagement and interaction.
- Using brand names or keywords in posts – URLs that match search terms have a built in advantage for high SEO rankings on that search.
- Opening up blogs, video hosting accounts and other social media for comments to build a strong community of brand enthusiasts.
- Promote your social networks to increase your following and build your community.
- Becoming part of the online community and follow, comment and share material from thought leaders and others who have high social authority.
- Taking a cohesive approach to your SEO social strategy and include links to your social networks on your homepage, other social networks, media releases, articles and other communication tools.
These are just some of the ways your company can try and increase its social influence and ensure your social media and SEO strategy are working in unison. With social networking activities starting to impact search results, it’s important for businesses to start thinking seriously about the way they use social media. For other tips on how to develop a SEO social strategy, contact one of our consultants at SEO Works.