Like any employee of a startup, you’ve probably got a hundred things happening at once and wondering where to focus your efforts.
If you’re somewhat youthful or tech-savvy, you’ve probably also been dubbed the ‘social media’ person, but you’ll quickly learn that even that can seem like a foreign language at times.
From platforms and audience, to content, messaging and art, there is certainly a lot to think about. But aside from these, there is one aspect of marketing that is often forgotten by small business owners – your SEO.
Did you know that social media can have a direct effect on your SEO? If done correctly, social media can drive organic traffic, generate high engagement rates, and improve SEO rankings. It can also increase your brand’s visibility and awareness.
It sounds complex, but you can take control with these 5 simple steps:
To stay competitive, you need to develop and distribute engaging content across multiple social platforms. There is a fine line between posting often and becoming annoying because you’ve posted too often. To keep your audience from getting bored, you need to make sure that you’re not repetitive.
Each time you post, make it something different; videos, GIFS, blogs, and avoid chunks of text. Posting regularly helps you stay relevant to Google which is essential for your SEO ranking.
Be sure to engage with your followers
Social media isn’t designed for one-way conversations, it’s about sparking conversations among your followers and ideally, the wider public too. Simply by making your content more interactive, you can positively affect your brand’s rankings, traffic, and visibility. At the end of the day, engagement rates depend on the quality of your content. It needs to be something that resonates with your audience.
Use relevant and long-tailed keywords
There’s a real science to SEO and the trick is finding keywords that are low in competition and capable of generating quality traffic. But at the same time, they must be relevant to your business and buyer persona.
When crafting your SEO strategy, there are a few things to be aware of. First of all, you’re playing in a highly competitive game with all the big guys. Obviously, your budget won’t match theirs, which is fine, as long as you use it correctly. This is where long-tailed keywords come in.
All the generic terms for your product will already be taken by a larger brand with the budget to out-bid you. For example, if you’re selling running shoes then those exact words are probably already being used by Nike and they’ll be ranked above you. Long-tailed keywords are more targeted phrases that usually have around three words and are used to target niche demographics. Your budget is best directed here to help you stand out and reach your ideal customer.
Use social share buttons
Always make it as easy as possible for your audience to share your content. If it takes more than a couple of clicks – it’s too complicated. Add various social buttons to your web pages and articles so that your visitors can share with ease.
Once people start sharing your content, Google recognises that as a sign of credibility and then favours you. Think of it this way, Google’s job is to produce the most relevant content for its users, so if it sees that you’re becoming more relevant, then it’ll push you to the top.
Invest in your brand on social
Believe it or not, neglecting social media as a branding tool can actually have a negative effect on your SEO. Social media is great branding tool because you are able to expand your reach and scale your content at incredible rates.
If you’ve invested in branding, audiences searching for industry-related content are more likely to click on your link as opposed to others – even if you’re lower on the page. That’s because they not only recognize you but see you as a thought leader on the topic.
The more social accounts you have, the more opportunities there are to post content and leverage the keywords in your SEO, making you more relevant to Google.
The wrap up
SEO and social media strategies work better together. The role of social media is more than just promoting content. If used correctly, social media can help improve organic search. Though this is the case, brands often fall into the trap of developing isolated strategies for each.
It’s true that integrating SEO and social media can be challenging but if you take time to develop an integrated digital strategy you’ll be first on your customers’ minds as well as Google.
Charles Tidswell is Vice President of JAPAC at Socialbakers.