The relationship between SEO and social media is much closer than many people assume. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram provide a great way to boost traffic to a site, associating a business or brand with particular keywords. They’re ideal for generating regular bite-sized content, demonstrating to search engines that a website is still active and popular. And since social media posts are indexed alongside other web pages, social activity contributes to a site’s inbound links – a key metric when calculating SEO.
Friends with benefits
The latter point is a vital factor in the close relationship between SEO and social media. From YouTube reposts to comments on LinkedIn, a piece of engaging and original copy can generate re-posts and additional traffic generation far and wide. This is the concept of link earning. The better-known process of link building involves a company establishing reciprocal links with another website, or paying to appear within an online directory.
Of course, getting social content to spread online requires a large audience. And building a social following incorporates SEO techniques – creating dynamic and engaging content that’s instantly relevant to its target audience. Getting people to like a company’s Facebook page isn’t too far removed from getting them to like its homepage. The core messages will be the same across SEO and social media. Indeed, if a Facebook page manages to rank more highly in search results than the main website, that’s not a problem if key messages are shared.
Share and reshare alike
A good social media post will encompass several SEO elements, from image captions to keywords. The tags beside a WordPress post are reprised on platforms like Instagram and Twitter as hashtags, and they all require research to identify which terms prospective customers may be searching for. Social posts should also be topical wherever possible, as should news stories on a company website.
Since website traffic volumes are a key metric in SEO performance, every social post should aim to redirect readers to a designated landing page or homepage. Social posts are useless if they don’t drive a call to action or promote a company’s products, services and/or expertise. However, SEO and social media both benefit from being kept short. If you can’t say it in 200 characters (or 400 words), you probably shouldn’t say it at all…