Someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer. What do you do? Like millions of others, you pull out your phone and you find your preferred search engine. You type in keywords related to the information in question and 20 seconds later, you now have the answer. Looking at the search ecosystem above from Moz, the waters are muddy and there are many factors to consider when it comes to making sure you get found when you want to. One of those factors is social media. At the November SMCKC breakfast, Corey Morris of ER Marketing shared some tips on how your social media presence can help enhance search.
The most critical part of enhancing search with social media is a given according to Morris: Build a Strong Brand. A strong brand, with information people want to know, is naturally going to attract links, social followings, and mentions. As these brand components are part of the search algorithm, a brand that has built these well will naturally show up higher in search ranking. Since that isn’t as easy as it sounds, Morris provided a few more suggestions.
Whether on social or your website, Morris noted to be consistent in keyword use and topical focus. He says a lot of social can and should be done without linking back to the website, but even when posting on social, posting about topics talked about on your site help build the authority your site has. Search engines recognize this relevance and consistency and take this into account when delivering information to consumers.
Another way to have social help your search ranking is to add social sharing buttons (within reason cautions Morris) on your website. These like, share, and follow buttons for specific content help visitors enhance your relevancy on particular topics and help the search engines understand your connected properties.
Making sure your brand name, address, & phone number (NAP) is accurate on the different search platforms (Google, Bing & Yahoo) as well as the internet directories (e.x. Yellow Pages, CitySearch, Mercantile Circle) is another way of legitimizing your website (which helps with SEO), but also building the trust your site has since it can be found in multiple places. This verification of information is also needed on your social profiles, since they are also linked to your brand.
Social engagement is another factor search engines use to establish trust in your brand. The volume of engagements, the quality of those engagements, and the links used to drive them are all factors taken into consideration. Social is the new way people are being driven to brand websites and dispersion of those links on multiple profiles and sources matched with the quality of the people sharing continue to matter. High quality sharers mean high quality SEO, but similar to SEO, in social, quality content, a large audience, and how long the profile has been active are all important.
When it comes down to the nuts and bolts, Morris reiterated his initial thoughts that building a strong brand that doesn’t care about silos is what really matters. SEO and social aren’t different disciplines. Everything is content marketing and should be done together to raise the profile of the brand, but also its ranking when it comes to SEO.