In this mighty post, I’m going to share a mix of simple + high-level strategies for social SEO.
Grab a cup/glass of your favorite beverage and make yourself comfy…
I’m going to walk you through why social media platforms can provide a great opportunity for you to leverage your SEO, gain more knowledge about your dream tribe, improve your visibility in the rankings and, essentially get more ideal clients landing on your website.
Even better, I’m going to show you HOW you can make that happen (you might want to bookmark this post).
Part 1: The
boring incredible social media stats (I’ll be brief, promise)!
I know, I know, you don’t want math thrown at you this early/late/anytime in the day! So, let’s just get the nerdiness out the way, fast. (BTW the sources for each * are at the bottom of part 1.)
Many people don’t realize the impact social media can have on your SEO – in fact, they often think their social activity makes no difference whatsoever to their search engine rankings.
72% of online adults use social networking sites* and search engines are listening.
Your customers are on social media and they’re searching
There are hundreds of millions of active users across the 5 major social platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and both Facebook and YouTube are in the billions!*
But stats make no difference, unless you know where your ideal clients and blog readers are hanging out!
For example, although I focus my efforts across a number of channels, I get a lot more engagement on Instagram and Pinterest, which is great, because I love connecting over there. When I got strategic with using Pinterest, it paid off dramatically (I now steadily receive about 80% of my organic web traffic from Pinterest).
I’ll share how you can use your social platforms to figure out where your dream customers are and much more in Part 2 of this post.
Bing directly includes social signals (and Google notices too)
Google have claimed they do not use social metrics as a direct ranking factor.* But your brand’s engagement on social platforms does make an impression – here’s the evidence:
Google have also stated that social media pages are indexed and treated the same as other web pages.*
In 2015 they formed a partnership with Twitter* – that’s why you’ll find Twitter posts will show up in search results.
Google is not the only search engine. While Google has the lion share of the search engine market, people do use Bing. And Bing have stated they do use social activity and authority as direct ranking factors. *
There are lots of ways you can get active on social and make it easy for your community to interact with your brand – coming right up in Part 2 below.
Part 2: How you can boost your SEO with social media
It’s time to get active on your tribe’s favorite channels, increase your visibility, your traffic and your rankings. In Part 2 I’m going to cover how to:
Figure out where your dream customers are hanging out online
Optimize your social media profiles
Gain a deeper understanding of your audience and find out what they want
Build and cement relationships as you boost your visibility
Drive traffic to your blog, freebies + products & services
1 | Figure out where your dream customers are hanging out online
Once you know where your ideal clients love to hang out online, you can build more connections with more of your right people.
Look for patterns in the following social activity:
What blogs do they comment on?
Which of your social profiles do you currently get higher engagement on? Consider:
Which social channels are bringing traffic to your website or blog?
Where is the exit traffic from your website heading?
What platforms are your blog posts being shared on – any leading social channels?
Don’t forget your competitors, peers and industry leaders:
Where are they most active on social media?
Which of their profiles seem to have posts with high engagement?
→ Read Jenny Shih’s strategy for finding clients on social media.
2 | Optimize your social media profiles
Make sure you’re keeping active and making it easy for your community to interact with you.
Think of the web crawlers as cute, resourceful ladybugs, rather than metal spider-monsters, because they really aren’t something out of a sci-fi horror flick!
Get the basics set-up on your social profiles:
Add your website and other essential items for SEO, like your bio (with a suitable keyword or two) – don’t forget a branded header image (more brand awareness than SEO, but still important).
On both Facebook and Twitter, you can “pin” a post to the top of your page and profile feeds, respectively.
Get your Facebook page optimized:
Fill out your company info
Choose a CTA button
Link up your lead magnet
On Twitter add hashtags to your profile description and create a few lists to streamline your feed (I have Introverts, Business + Blogging Pros and Pittsburgh, to name a few). Within time people will start adding you to their lists too.
With Pinterest – more on the logistics below – think about what topics you’d like to have business boards on which suit your niche.
Make your content shareable
On your website:
Write relatable, helpful and relevant posts
Optimize your blog posts for Pinterest with pin-worthy images
Link to all your social media profiles on your footer &/or header.
Have calls-to-action to share your content, such as:
Tweetables using the Click To Tweet app
Pin It or image share buttons which appear when you hover over images
A social share bar which floats down the page with the reader
Sharing icons at the end of all posts
Off your website:
Use keywords in social media posts – don’t stuff them in, but use them wisely.
Use hashtags on Instagram (11 – 30 per comment) and Twitter (one or two, if they fit with your post).
→ Read more about Instagram hashtag strategy on the Rising Tide Society.
3 | Build and cement relationships as you boost your visibility
Once you’ve chosen your top 1 – 3 social channels to focus on, you can really dig in to developing new connections and firming up your existing ones.
5 things you can do to grow your profile, connections and conversations about your brand.
Use Stories &/or live streaming for spontaneous, fun and relatable moments.
Source other people’s content to share – it’s not all about you on social! Use the 80/20 rule as a guide, i.e. 80% other people’s content, quotes, etc. 20% your promotional content.
Tag people whose content or quote you’re sharing – not only are you assigning proper credit, they’ll comment, like, or even share it with their own tribe.
Use freemium tools to track social media activity, including mentions, likes & shares, so you can say thanks and start chats:
Each social platform has their own, native analytics dashboards where you can track followers, content reach, traffic, messages, etc.
If you’re all about Twitter, Tweetdeck is a simple app you can use.
See what’s trending with BuzzSumo.
Add competitors, market leaders or inspiring pages in Facebook’s “Pages to Watch” feature, under your business page insights (you must have at least 100 likes).
Develop a networking habit by:
Offering support & advice
Reaching out to influencers
→ Read more about live streaming on One Woman Shop.
4 | Gain a deeper understanding of your audience and find out what they want
Even if you’ve not got thousands of people on your mailing list, or any mailing list at all, you can still discover what your ideal clients want and need. Then you can develop the kinds of content, products and services they’ll love.
With any business activity, there are elements of trial and error to find your sweet spots, but there are strategic steps you can take to reduce the mistakes and improve the successes.
How to investigate offerings and content topics on social media
You’ll often find me talking about keywords, using Google Trends for short, popular terms and brainstorming long-tail keywords to qualify your traffic, but you can also take a similar approach on social channels.
Research social keywords:
See which topics are trending in your community
Watch what keywords your industry thought leaders and peers are using
Discover what comes up in auto-suggest when typing
Search popular, branded, keyword and niche hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.
Listen to what people are saying online when they’re looking for solutions to the problems you solve – how they term the questions may be different. For example, you might say “looking for a nanny” on social media, but type “nannies in Pittsburgh” on Google search.
Why user-generated content can be a game-changer
User-generated content is literally anything created by your audience which you can incorporate, such as:
Testimonials and reviews
Social media posts
The main benefits of user-generated content are:
Social proof can go through the roof!
The increase in trust and reputation you’ll gain from your community.
You can gather real insight into your audience and how they relate to your brand.
You’ll discover the nuanced language they use when talking about your business.
Interactions, networking and other people’s creativity can spark your inspiration too.
Your search visibility will improve with every tag, mention and link back to your site.
→ Get Carrie Green’s Instagram growth strategy on the Female Entrepreneur Association.
5 | Drive traffic from social media to your blog, freebies + products & services
There are so many ways to drive social media traffic to your business that don’t require spending money on ads. There’s a time & place for ads, but they’re not your only option.
Social media contests are one of my favorite ways to boost your social SEO and encourage brand interactions. I give you the full lowdown + plenty of inspiration in my 7+ social media contest ideas post.
Partnership: Buddy-up with a like-minded business owner and run a joint campaign.
Feature: Do you have a podcast or offer guest slots on your blog? They will most definitely promote their feature + your brand online to.
Influencer: Reach out to influencers – you could offer your product for review, or feature them in an “ask the expert” Q&A.
Takeover: Invite peers and even influencers to “takeover” your profile for a week or day.
Leadership: Can you sponsor, co-lead or moderate an event? Or host a Q&A, like a Twitter chat?
Direct sales and promotions
So many ways to play! You can do a launch countdown, offer fun discount days, promote exclusives and other offers to your followers.
Social media movements
Social media movements can raise awareness and cultivate change, making a real difference in people’s lives and businesses. For example, the hard-hitting #metoo campaign Tarana Burke started in 2006, which suddenly went viral via Alyssa Milano in October 2017; or uplifting and supportive business-related hashtags on Instagram, like The Rising Tide Society’s #communityovercompetition and Ashley Beaudin’s #theimperfectboss.
Instagram one-link workarounds
Use a “link in bio” app to drive your Instagram followers to your website:
Linktree, free or $6/month for extra analytics, colors, scheduling and ad retargeting.
LNK.BIO, free or $0.99/month / $9.99/lifetime for link tracking and stats.
OR create an Instagram landing page on your site. Free and easy!
Get strategic with Pinterest
I highly recommend Boardbooster for Pinterest* for increasing and improving your inbound traffic.
→ Discover more: 14+ ways to drive traffic to your (new) blog
This post is all about social SEO, but there are a few, easy actions you can take to optimize your website – I reveal all in my free 6-day SEO Made Simple challenge:
PHEW!! That was quite a post!
I’d love to know your biggest A-ha or takeaway – please share them in the comments.