Using Social Media To Elevate Your Online Presence
Search engine rankings are constantly fluctuating, as the algorithms used to calculate website performance are regularly modified by Google and Bing. Some elements have increased in significance over recent years, while attributes like anchor text and keyword stuffing have fallen from favor. We don’t entirely know which attributes web crawlers look for when scanning a website, or how these aspects are combined into an overall ranking. However, while some factors are regularly adjusted, others remain consistent.
Social media and SEO
The impact of social media on SEO (or search engine optimization) has remained steadfastly important, even as the platforms themselves rise and fall. Google+ is effectively dead, while Instagram has eclipsed Flickr. Facebook remains unbowed by swathes of negative PR, and Twitter continues to bring out the best and the worst in its users.
As a society, we probably passed peak social media last year. Yet the strategic use of social channels still impacts on corporate search engine rankings. While there is heated debate about the degree to which social media influences organic SEO, most digital marketing analysts recognize a strong correlation. This is due to several factors that you can see in our list below:
#1. Social posts are ideal for creating inbound links to a website – a key factor in search engine rankings – and they also provide great scope for keyword deployment.
#2. Integrating social posts into a website (especially the homepage) shows the site remains active. This is another factor known to be considered by Google and Bing.
#3. A strong social profile can drive extra traffic to your site. Search engines regard sites as being more authoritative when traffic volumes and on-page times are high.
#4. Social channels are becoming the preferred communication method for customers. A quick response could lead to a more favorable review, which crawlers can identify.
#5. Industry analysis has indicated brands with strong social media footprints enjoy greater brand acceptance and higher conversion rates.
Taking advantage of social media benefits
So how can a new enterprise develop a strong social media profile, to boost its online presence? The first step involves choosing your preferred platforms:
Facebook for Business
Creating a dedicated Facebook profile page separates business and personal accounts since private opinions could alienate corporate customers. Facebook remains the undisputed market leader in terms of active monthly users and corporate ad spending, and it’s suitable for any business or industry.
Despite its associations with trolling, Twitter is invaluable for connecting with your customers. Its blue bird logo is arguably even more ubiquitous than Facebook’s logo, and Twitter is much loved by customers wanting to get in touch with a query or comment. It’s also great for rapid distribution of information.
LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn is basically Facebook for professionals, serving up a basket of social tools without the memes and rants. It carries real weight with the search engines, and a company page is a strong addition to existing personal profiles. You can advertise sponsored content, create career pages or simply build connections.
This is the point where some companies will start opting out since not every industry has video-worthy content. Talking-head vlogs look a bit passé in 2018, but a well-presented video is still a valuable piece of the social real estate. Plus, Google owns YouTube, so video links carry considerable weight in Google rankings.
Again, this is fine for an architectural photography agency, but not so good for a firm of lawyers. Even so, Instagram is one of the Big Three social networks, under the guidance of parent company Facebook. Instagram is great for visual industries where a picture tells a thousand words, and it’s easy to build connections.
Surprise! If you accept the classic definition of social media – online platforms for sharing information and ideas among virtual communities – blogging is clearly a form of social media. Easily integrated into websites (and great for keyword deployment), regular blogging generates all sorts of search engine ranking benefits.
You might have expected SnapChat to make our list, but only around 5% of companies have a presence on Snap. This is generally blamed on the short-lived nature of conversations across a youth-oriented platform. Durability is a crucial component of corporate SEO, as there’s little advantage investing time in content that disappears after 24 hours.
Nevertheless, completing social profiles is almost as important as uploading engaging material.
Directing a small business’s limited resources into social media marketing relies on maximizing value and future returns for optimal efficiency. That’s why a YouTube video is such an evergreen marketing tool – once uploaded, it’ll be visible forever. Other platforms require more frequent engagement, with original content being written and presented in a professional manner. And of course, any successful business profile demands ongoing engagement with followers – conversations, likes, shares and advice. Used frequently and responsibly, any social profile should elevate a brand.